How important is inner work for leaders? How do we go about it? How can we cultivate virtue? Parker Palmer says this in his little treasure, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation:
Can we help each other deal with the inner issues inherent in leadership? We can, and I believe we must. Our frequent failure as leaders to deal with our inner lives leaves too many individuals and institutions in the dark. From the family to the corporation to the body politic, we are in trouble partly because of the shadows I have named.
"Inner work" should become commonplace in families, schools, and religious institutions, as least, helping us understand that inner work is as real as outer work and invilved skills one can develop, skills like journaling, reflective reading, spiritual friendship, meditation, and prayer. We can teach our children something that their parents did not always know: if people skimp on their inner work, their outer work will suffer as well (p. 91-2).