Several suggested practices for spiritual leaders (Sixth)


The ideal human community is characterized by love. When people know they are loved they respond with dedication and give of their best. If a leader treats followers negatively, he or she will receive diminishing returns from followers. A good leader of hope shows everyone respect, and they know he or she speaks from the heart. Followers must find trust, honesty, and integrity in their leaders, and leaders must show respect for the dignity and competence of followers by trusting them, empowering them, providing significant responsibilities, giving teams authority, searching for consensus, providing an enjoyable working environment, establishing participative structures, and sharing power. Caring needs to be practical; the leader treats others with politeness, gentleness, candor, graciousness, and sensitivity. A good spiritual leader dedicated to servant leadeship appreciates people, and they know it.

There is a tendency to underestimate the importance of affective and emotional aspects of spiritual leadership. Followers need to know that a leader is there for them. The leader must make sure everyone with whom he or she works knows he or she is not only respected, but also loved.

Jesus called his followers “disciples,” until towards the end of his ministry when he said, “I do not call you servants any longer, . . . but I have called you friends” ( John 15:15). The evangelist said, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1

It is important that we all do everything for each other, the firm, customers, and stakeholders with loving commitment.

5 Suggestions:

1. Examine your relationships with your workers and ask yourself if they like you?

2. Be sure that when people leave your presence they know they are loved.

3. Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.

4. Review with your workers whether the working environment is enjoyable.

5. Think of new ways to show your trust to those with whom you work.

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 August 23, 2012, in Leadership, Leadership and spirituality, Leadership and values, Spiritual leadership and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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