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Article Title

Pilgrimage in Leadership

Abstract

Humans are universally drawn to the act of pilgrimage and current research informs us that the call to pilgrimage is increasing globally. In many cases pilgrimage is associated with religious ritual or a healing process. However, when pilgrimage is understood as archetypal behaviour, it becomes clear that an inner or outer pilgrimage can serve as a powerful metaphor for the development of transformational leaders. Exploring the works of important writers and researchers in pilgrimage, mythology, religion, history, psychology, philosophy, art and leadership development, this paper will demonstrate how the act of pilgrimage is a foundational symbol for leadership development. When leaders consciously engage with the archetype of pilgrimage from this perspective they activate the flow of creative images necessary for psychological development in ways necessary to their individual growth. Additionally, when viewed through this lens, pilgrimage can help advance our understanding of the unique pathways leaders must take in order to increase self-awareness through the rich resources of the psyche. Through both actual and metaphorical pilgrimage, leaders can attain increased understanding of their own personal patterns and opportunities for growth. We know that the most motivational and successful leaders are those who not only have clear ethical boundaries, but also have the courage and creativity to lead the way into the wilderness of the unknown. In an increasingly fast-paced, complex, technological and global world, this capability to find the courage to lead the way forward and to facilitate the new is more critical than ever before. The creative use of images, such as that of the pilgrim, contributes toward developing the qualities essential to becoming a sustaining and transformational leader.

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