Yet when Laura Nash and Scotty McLennan began to investigate this controversial arena, they found a lot of dissatisfaction with the status quo, as well as tension and confusion, among both executives and clergy.
On the executive side, says Nash, "Just across the board, interviewees would be saying, 'This is a life as a business leader that is very lonely. It requires many masks and many responsibilities that aren't from the same person I am at home and in my church on Sunday, and I don't know how to navigate that transition.'"
Business is made up of many relationships and actions that represent every human emotion possible and every human motivation.
— Laura NashMainstream churches, meanwhile, were not benefiting from the distanced relationship, and indeed were ceding ground to secular spirituality and its offshoots from New Age crystals to personal empowerment. How to bridge the Sunday-Monday disconnect?
Nash, an HBS senior research fellow, and McLennan, the dean for religious life at Stanford University and a former senior lecturer at HBS, describe the hurdles as well as a practical framework to overcome them in their new book, Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenge of Fusing Christian Values with Business Life.
"This is one of the great uncharted areas that is part of most people's lives, and yet we haven't prepared managers and the business community to think about this very strongly," Nash says.
"What we were very concerned about with the book is not to set out a blueprint for solving this, because we don't think there is a blueprint. What there is is a very deep need for self-reflection and community reflection."
Nash expanded on these views in an interview with HBS Working Knowledge senior editor Martha Lagace; the... [continues]
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