LEADERSHIP AND VOCATIONAL INTEGRITY

I would like to continue some reflections on integrity. It is so much needed today. We need leaders who are willing to become men and women of integrity and show others what good spiritual leadership can be like. So, leaders of integrity are self-directed, pro-active, always accountable, passionately committed to others, they take care of themselves, accept their own gifts, celebrate their own values and priorities, are candid with coworkers, and know what vision drives them.  For such people, leadership is personal development—a journey from acknowledgment of our false selves to the acceptance of our own personal authenticity. It is also the context for individual and organizational development in which the integrity of the latter depends on the integrity of the former.

But, they also internalize social responsibility, and open to genuine dialogue with all around them, aware that their own experiences are always partial and fragmentary.  They accept responsibility, blame no one, and prove every day that their moral centers influence all they do. Personal integrity and social responsibility must also conclude in institutional integrity.  At a time when there are so many critics and pseudo experts, a genuine leader stands up courageously for the institution he or she serves, constantly aware of the purpose of institutions and their normal tendency to self corrupt.  Endowed with courage of conviction, such leaders can move us beyond the comfort that institutions insist on providing, to the alternative ways of living as a community.

Personal, relational, institutional, and vocational integrity reinforce quality of life and lasting leadership.  Leadership lives at the intersection of the authentic and inauthentic, tilting the world toward the authentic.  Leadership is always mindful that, as we call forth authenticity we can never forget that the conflicts and ambiguities of action reside not just in the world but also within ourselves. Leadership is a spiritual journey to the depths of one’s inner convictions, where, alone, one hears a call that no one else hears.  Inner integrity calls leaders to be real, humane, open to the signs of the times, and confident in themselves and their values.  On a more practical level it will require short response time, follow-up to problems, justification for decisions made,  creativity, and willingness to be open to hidden opportunities.

Integrity is not a technique to improve one’s leadership. It is integral to one’s humanity and destiny. Everyone needs integrity, but for leaders it is crucial for the success of their 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 March 2, 2015, in Leadership and spirituality, Leadership and values, Spiritual leadership, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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