Spiritual leaders are known for these eight practices (First)

Several suggested practices for a spiritual leader

In the next couple of weeks I would like to offer several practices for anyone who wishes to become a spiritual leader. You can call them practices or even attitudes that result from frequently repeating these practices. These set aside an individual as possibly a great leader. The eight suggestions are the following:

1. MOURN LEADERSHIP’S FAILURES.

2. APPRECIATE WHAT LIES BEYOND NORMAL HORIZONS.

3. THINK, MEDITATE, CONTEMPLATE.

4. ASK QUESTIONS NOONE ELSE DOES.

5. TEACH A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF COMMITMENT.

6. UNLOCK THE POTENTIALS OF THE HEART.

7.  CREATE INTERRUPTIONS.

8. MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO MOTIVATE THEMSELVES.

Today we consider just the first one:

1. MOURN LEADERSHIP’S FAILURES

It is frequently heartbreaking to follow the daily news. So many problems have lasted for decades, they are well-known, but deliberately left unaddressed because leaders cannot or will not confront them. We live in a culture of greed, clinging to power, and arrogance. Servant leaders see these as the opposite of what they want to embody. We are immersed in malfunctioning and sick leadership, and the sickness is contagious. When we think about mourning we refer to something that pains us to think about it; it is a loss that tears at our hearts; it is a pain that stays with us; you just wish things were different and what happened never occurred. This is how a servant leader responds to today’s failures.

The basic steps in mourning leadership’s failures are: 1. Acknowledge the failures. 2. Think about and even savor the harm bad leadership has done. 3. Disassociate yourself from it. 4. Examine your own life for traces of failures and get rid of them. 5. Express the sorrow of your heart for the harm and injustice done to others. 6. Move on with changed attitudes or move away from the corrupt structure in which you have found yourself.

5 suggestions:

1. As leaders, never support greedy, selfish, unethical leaders.

2. Beware of the company you keep, and stay away from people whose  values you despise and whose leadership you do not wish to imitate.

3. Never accept promotion in your leadership if you must prostitute your  values to get it.

4. Every day spend some time thinking about those who suffer because of  failed leadership.

5. Remind yourself often of your own failures as leaders and lament and  mourn them.

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About Leonard Doohan

Dr. Leonard Doohan is Professor Emeritus at Gonzaga University where he was a professor of religious studies for 27 years and Dean of the Graduate School for 13 years. He has written 17 books and 160 articles and has given over 350 workshops throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East. Leonard's recent books include Spiritual Leadership: the Quest for Integrity, in 2007, Enjoying Retirement: Living Life to the Fullest, in 2010, and Courageous Hope: The Call of Leadership, in 2011. Leonard's wife is Helen who was also a Professor Emerita at Gonzaga, specializing in the writings of Paul.

Posted on July 1, 2012, in Leadership and values, Spiritual leadership and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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