Several suggested practices for a spiritual leader (Seventh)

7.  CREATE INTERRUPTIONS

Our world of leadership seems sure of itself. Programs turn out graduates with a packet of skills to become leaders themselves. Well-known presidents and CEOs write their memoirs and tell us how it is done! We have seen so many failures, and each leader inflicts his or her own particular damage. In this process of interruption, doubt and uncertainty are good points of departure, followed by a healthy suspicion and skepticism, and culminating in enjoying a little insecurity for a while.

Part of the task of a great leader who wants to be a servant leader is to fight against the nearsightedness of contemporary leadership, to oppose the prepackaged answers, and seek something deeper. This can be an anxious time for a leader.

Often this questioning of the direction of leadership leads to conflict, but this too can raise the energy level and produce significant discussion. Conflict itself can lead to crisis which is an opportunity to make different judgments on the matters at hand

As a leader interrupts the discourse on the nature of leadership, he or she can engage in networking to surface ideas that can lead to new directions.

A lot of contemporary leadership is moderate management sprinkled with a little inspiration. If there is a culture of trust and a climate of creativity, then proactive individuals can think differently about the same things, engage in provisional thinking and decision-making, and courageously move to explore new concepts about leadership at the margins of organizational life. Here the skills are flexibility, improvisation, alternative thinking, bypassing of problems, innovation, and breakthrough.

5 Suggestions:

1. Spend some time reflecting on what is working in your leadership and what is not.

2. Identify those aspects of your leadership you would like to get rid of.

3. Think about which leadership practices in your organization you would like to stop.

4. Reflect on the leader you admire and ask yourself why.

5. Make sure you have created a climate where other people can interrupt your leadership.

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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 September 14, 2012, in Leadership, Leadership and vision, Spiritual leadership and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. thanks for the great article you are one of my best refrences of leadership and trust learning

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