• Margaret Benefiel

    • Margaret became Shalem's executive director in July 2015. Prior to coming to Shalem, she ran her own consulting, speaking, training, and coaching business, Executive Soul, helping leaders and organizations nurture their souls and express their deepest values institutionally. At the same time, she taught as adjunct faculty at Andover Newton Theological School in the area of contemplative leadership. She holds a B.A. in History from Princeton University, an M.A. in Mathematics from Portland State University, an M.A. in Theology from Earlham School of Religion, and a PhD in Spirituality from Catholic University of America. She has written extensively on various aspects of contemplative leadership and spirituality at work, including The Soul of Higher Education; The Soul of Supervision; The Soul of a Leader: Finding Your Path to Fulfillment and Success; and Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations.

Three Leadership Lessons from John Woolman

In this time of multiple pandemics and many crises, I struggle with how to relate to those with whom I disagree. How do I find the wisdom to interact in a loving way; how do I speak my truth so they might hear? I find the eighteenth-century American Quaker John Woolman inspiring and instructive for […]

Roots of Love and Fruits of Imagination: Three Examples for our Time

As I write this, protests rock the U.S. and protesters call for justice. The protests rightly draw our attention to the more than 400 years of racism and white supremacy, and the vast majority of protesters are peaceful. Violence and looting have also erupted, and the media often gives far more attention to such cases […]

Step by Halting Step: Leadership in Uncertain Times

In this season of the year, following the crucifixion and resurrection and Jesus’s subsequent forty days among the disciples, Christians celebrate the ascension, the time when Jesus left the disciples and ascended into heaven. What a roller coaster that month and a half must have been for the disciples (as I mentioned in the eNews […]

Grieving and Rejoicing

On Good Friday, no one anticipated Easter. The disciples, in shock and grief, hid away in fear. Neither the disciples nor Jesus’s enemies expected resurrection. And then the resurrection came. Unbelievable. How could this be? Still in shock and grief, the disciples weren’t ready. Even after Jesus appeared to the disciples, they kept hiding in […]

Three Essentials for Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus

In the short span of a month, our lives have been turned upside down. We are quarantined. We know people who have COVID-19. We know people who have died from it. We wonder if we have it. Some of us do. We work from home now, or we have lost our jobs. (Unless we are […]

Conscious Leadership as a Spiritual Journey

Article by Margaret Benefiel (May 2019 eNews) What is conscious leadership? When I received the annual Elks leadership award my senior year in high school for my leadership in the Elma Sunshine Makers 4-H Club in Elma, Washington, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about leadership. After all, I had […]

Cultivating Contemplative Conversations

Article by Margaret Benefiel (December 2018 eNews) In conversations with our “contemplative cousins,” both in follow-up discussions since the August 2017 Snowmass gathering where 20 young contemplatives gathered and in other settings, the question often arises, “What method of prayer does Shalem teach? Contemplative Outreach teaches Centering Prayer, World Community for Christian Meditation teaches the […]

Grounded in Love: Creative Leadership for Our Times

Today’s post is by Margaret Benefiel Marches. Online petitions. Letters to the editor. “Am I doing any good?” I ask myself. “Am I making a difference? Is there another way?” In the face of injustice, wars, and humanity’s inhumanity to humanity, I long to be faithful to doing my part to heal the world. As […]

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