Spiritual Leaders Coach Their Followers Carefully

 

One of the key qualities of spiritual leaders is the ability to coach their followers.  Change-leaders encourage their followers to look at things in a different way.  This means understanding followers, the way they think, and the way they do things.  It implies training them to go away from present views at least long enough to be influenced by something different.  But coaching must be done skillfully, and it generally implies giving people important work to do, discretion and autonomy over this work, visibility and recognition for what they do, and the know-how to establish connections with people of power and position.  Coaching followers requires strategic skills–modeling a form of leadership based on vision and values, establishing trust among a group of followers, training in team performance, collaborative learning and partnership building.  A leader needs to allow followers to improvise and then to learn from their success and failures.  There is no risk-taking without error, but no newly created future without risk-taking. Above all, a leader who wishes to coach others to be visionaries must let others have control over their own lives, for it is this sense of freedom that capitalizes on an individual=s energy, creativity, and enthusiasm.  When a leader can encourage a sense of risk and improvisation in others and link these approaches to humility, then provided there is a solid foundation of competence and genuine perseverance in dedication to values, a leader can unleash profound power, passion, boldness, and courage in the organization. McLean and Weitzel (Leadership: Magic, Myth, or Method, 186) suggest six steps to unleash leadership potential in oneself or others: 1. Practice influencing others, 2. See similarities between self and others, 3. Recognize and meet others= expectations, 4. Accept and let go of leadership roles, 5. Provide support for each other, 6. Always know your own worth and accept your own stature.

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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 August 21, 2014, in Leadership, Leadership and values, Leadership and vision, Servant leadership, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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