Category Archives: Quote of the Week
Leadership is part of who we are. There is no possibility of separating leadership from the values of our daily lives. When we see top managers in politics, business, or service industries living a style of leadership that seems closer to dictatorship than anything else, then we must conclude that these are the values of these people’s daily lives. The opposite is also true of course. Namely, that the values of spiritual leadership enable us to become better spouses, parents, and members of community. There is always something immature about autocratic leaders and something noble about genuine servant leaders.
” The evolution and development of a mature inner consciousness provide us with a resiliency, a joy and optimism of life. This inner mastery enables us to assume tasks of leadership by responsibly inspiring hope and confidence among others that the right path will emerge and we finally shall succeed.” (David Ramey, Empowering Leaders, p. 217).
Dedicating ourselves to the development of servant and spiritual leadership will improve our lives.
When we look around at our so called leaders today it is often a sad experience. There are so many failures. Last year we celebrated the life and leadership of Nelson Mandela. People from all walks of life all over the world praised his exceptional gifts of mind and heart that enabled him to become one of the great leaders of history. It was hard to listen to universal praise without thinking of the dearth of good leaders that we face in our own times, especially in politics, business, healthcare, and religion.
A few comments I though you might like to read:
“Whether we think of Congress or the courts, business or industry, the news media or mass entertainment, the church or other voluntary associations, many of us feel deepening despair about the capacity of our dominant institutions to harbor a human agenda, to foster human purposes.”
Parker Palmer, Foreword in Seeker and Servant: The Private Writings of Robert K. Greeleaf, xi.
“The history of the world if full of such leaders, whose errors of judgment and refusal to listen to the good advice of their followers have left millions of followers as physical, emotional, or economic casualties.”
Kieth Grint, The Art of Leadership, p. 420.
“Leadership requires changing not only the way you think and the way you act, but also the way you will. Leading is taking change of your will–the innermost core of your humanity.”
Peter Koesterbaum, Leadership: The Inner Side of Greatness, 2.
Let us hope and pray that more men and women will take inspiration from Nelson Mandela and dedicate themselves to the service of others in leadership. We need leaders motivated by inner values, selfless, generous, and totally dedicated to others. These are leaders who are committed to their position for the good it allows them to do and not for the status or money it gives them.
I recently wrote a more detailed article on this topic which you might like to read. linked2leadership (March 8th)
So ,many writers talk about transformational leadership, I think the following description catches both the visionary and practical sides of this quality.
” Superior leadership performance–transformational leadership–occurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group.”
Bernard Bass, “From Trasactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision,” Organizational Dynamics 18 (1990): 21.
“Inspiring visions should be optimistic, express confidence, highlight the intrinsic needs that can be met, connect to the core values of the organization, and place emphasis on positive future challenges and opportunities.”
Yair Berson, Boas Shamir, Bruce J. Avolio, and Micha Popper, “The Relationship between Vision and Strength, Leadership Style, and Context,” Leadership Quarterly 12 )2001): 56.
“Leaders are people who offer new horizons to their followers and move people beyond mediocrity and indifference. They give hope amidst the problems of contemporary working life. They are willing to take risks and transcend boundaries. As leaders they share their experience of the mystery of God and thus bring a sense of hope to followers, reestablishing the perspective of life under God, and providing the basis for value oriented leadership.”
Leonard Doohan, Spiritual Leadership: The Quest for Integrity (Paulist Press, 2007, p.76).
“Leaders we admire do not place themselves at the center; they place others there. They do not seek attention of people; they give it to others. They do not focus on satisfying their own aims and desires; they look for ways to respond to the needs and interests of their constituents.”
J. M. Kouzes and B. Z. Posner, Credibility: How leaders Gain It and Lose It, Why People Demand it. Saan Francisco: Jpssey-Bass, 1993, p. 31.
“Quality leadership lies within the heart, soul, and spirit of a leader, who has journeyed within self and discovered values, motivation, enduring purpose, and destiny.” Spiritual Leadership: The Quest for Integrity.
“Excellence begins with an exacting inner commitment to possibility; possibility sits very close to discipline.”
Mary Anne Rademacher-Hershey.
AN UNUSUAL IDEA FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
“Leaders should lead as far as they can and then vanish. Their ashes should not choke the fire they have lit.” John Gardner, On Leadership, p. 133.
KEY QUALITIES OF A SPIRITUAL LEADER
“If you want to reap the rewards that justice dictates must always fall to the victor, you must have the privilege of making a fundamental decision: to expand and empower people, not compress, repress, suppress, or depress them; to build on their strengths, not focus on their weaknesses.” (Joe Batten, “Servant Leadership: A Passion to Serve,” in Insights on leadership, Larry Spears, ed. (New York: Wiley, 1994), 41