Posts by 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.

On Leadership and Healing: Striving for Wellness

Healing Hands

We often speak about service and leadership and even servant leadership, but the original word to serve in Greek, the language of the New Testament, was the word “therapy,” that expressed the idea of leading, serving, taking care of, and healing.

 In the New Testament, leadership had two components or facets: teaching and healing. If teaching was the content vision, it was authenticated in healing.

Leadership That Serves and Saves

But, to heal in Greek means to protect from harm, to benefit, to preserve inner integrity, to rescue from harm; these are all aspects of leadership that serves and saves. Leading and healing are two aspects of the same reality that focuses on integrated, holistic approaches to people and their organizations.

Leadership that heals restores harmony within individuals, between people, and within structures, and frees people from unhealthy living.

Health and wholeness are basic, primary values for all human beings, and people see sickness and dysfunctional responses as undesirable obstacles to happiness and fulfillment in life. When health and wholeness are absent people seek explanations and remedies, and when these are not forthcoming they suspect that there are forces beyond themselves, working against them.

Whatever the explanation of sickness, people long for healing. A leader of hope who is attentive to organizational dysfunctioning should feel called to heal. He or she must be sensitive to others’ needs, be a voice for the voiceless, and stress that successful organizations require holistic living.

A leader of hope who wants to have a healing effect on an organization must listen to workers’ stories and anger, call them to community health and wellness, and teach how wellness, leisure, health, personal or organizational growth, and business effectiveness are closely related to each other.

Striving For Wellness

In dealing with others and organizations, leaders strive for wellness, a concept that means the best one can be at any given time. Individuals and organizations come with the baggage of their history, and a good leader cannot expect from followers immediate exemplary responses to his or her challenges.

The first stage in healing is to stop negative influences, the slow erosion of values, and the corrupt influences of power.

Then, healing also includes efforts to end destructive practices such as confrontational positions, neglect of workers, coercion of followers, harassment, paying for support, outright fraud, controlling management teams with salaries or threats regarding job security, dividing to conquer, and using people rather than collaborating with them.

A leader who heals confronts any crisis of quality, changes in standards, neglect of traditional values, and does so because he or she recognizes we are all capable of evil, we often know our flaws and do nothing about them, we live with false values or reduced ideals, and we need illumination and healing.

Managing Wellness

Wellness is more than the absence of dysfunctions in individuals and organizations. It is a holistic concept that includes physical, social, and spiritual components. People can work at wellness through self-motivation and healthy practices.

Components of wellness include a positive outlook on life, basic personal and organizational skills, a sense of purpose, respect and love for each other, being in tune with one’s environment, and having a plan for balanced living.

Like other aspects of organizational life, a leader can manage wellness.

A leader who heals gives special attention to emotions, whether job or people related, identifying causes and potential reactions, and making sure he or she channels positive emotions and controls negative ones. Among the former are acceptance, joy, trust, surprise, satisfaction, and among the latter are fear, anger, hatred, rage, pride, jealousy, sadness, and loss. Each of these has many manifestations.

For example, people can have fear of failure, of embarrassment, of disappointing others, of resentment of leaders, of lack of respect, and of losing self-confidence.

  • Leadership is almost impossible for those who lack the ability to react to these emotions.
  • Leaders of hope partner with followers, understand their emotions, and raise them up to their potential.
  • They have faith in their followers, see they attain their own hopes and contribute to the organization’s, and love them enough to seek what is best for them.

A Leader of Hope

A leader of hope constantly asks what individuals and the organization would be like if all were functioning well. The organization’s product or service, its workers, management, and structure should all perform well. This does not mean there are not irritants in the group who do not think or act the way others do.

They, too, receive healing acceptance and affirmation, for the group needs energy that comes from differences.

Wellness within an organization will include trust, ethics, protection within the working environment, truth-telling, financial integrity, mutual respect, mutual pride, patience with each other, and a sense of responsibility for each other and for the organization. A spiritual leader can achieve much when he or she concentrates on on healing when dealing with others and organizations.

So, how are you doing at leading hope, fostering wellness, and insuring healing with the people in your organization? What can you do to strengthen your “empathy muscles” so that you can be that healing leader that keeps your organization healthy? I would love to hear your thoughts!

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: lh3.ggpht.com

About these ads

Spiritual Leaders Fight Against Intolerance

Intolerence

These days we cannot switch on the TV or web without having to confront intolerance. We see it internationally, nationally, and locally.

It even affects our relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers.

An Increasingly Intolerant World

We live in a world that is increasingly intolerant, one in which violence, untruthfulness, hate, mutual criticism abound, and people constantly and deliberately do hurtful things to others.

People’s approach to other is frequently one of:

  • Opposition
  • Confrontation
  • Rejection
  • Polarization
  • Widespread intolerance

People are paid lots of money to be intolerant, and they gather around them a large following of insecure people who delight to find their own intolerant attitudes supported by celebrities and leadership figures in politics or religion. These political, social, and religious “leaders” whip their followers into a frenzy over issues that are not central to their original vision, leading to catastrophes like ethnic cleansing, or even to the deliberate, destructive intention of labeling others to demean or destroy them.

People develop skills that foster intolerance, challenging people and especially leaders to be equally skilled in opposing it.

Ignorant and Uninterested

Intolerant OrganizationsIntolerant people are generally uninformed or ignorant, either by force of circumstances or by a deliberate closed mindedness—a desire not to learn what other people think or feel. Their deafness to others’ views and their unwillingness to search for common ground give rise to hatred for anyone who thinks differently than themselves.

Closed mindedness atrophies thought, but since knowledge is the basis of love it also stunts any ability to grow in understanding and love. Closed mindedness is not a normal characteristic of human beings who innately search for meaning, understanding, and enlightenment.

But, people are trained and initiated into closed mindedness generally by social, political, educational, or religious figures.

Some local groups or entire nations are known for their open-mindedness, and others for their closed mindedness. However, intolerant behavior is now a serious cultural problem that demands the attention of spiritual leaders who should model and teach tolerance

Rejecting a Bigger Picture

Most people do not think they are intolerant. Rather, they have false justification for their behavior. Many think they are being principled, consider their views the only acceptable ones, and see any attempt to understand others as weakness. Our society is riddled with extreme fundamentalism in politics, choice of political parties, judicial practice, approaches to foreign policy, and all sorts of issues in religion.

Litmus tests are everywhere, and any divergence from the acceptable, myopic views is rejected, and those who hold different views are despised.

Some of the most complicated contemporary issues receive simplistic answers from people who will not or cannot think things through. Such people often act like bulldozers, flattening all other ideas in their path.

Rejecting Intolerant Behavior

People who seek spiritual depth in their leadership need to reject all forms of intolerant behavior. This will mean first and foremost accepting the need to constantly learn anew, to appreciate that some change and adaptability guarantees the genuineness of values we hold. Never to change means always to live in the past.

We must have exceptional listening skills to understand others’ words, their deeper yearnings, their struggles, and their hopes.

We will need to be people of genuine dialogue, even with others who lack such skills. We can read and study with the desire to be more informed. From time to time we should rethink our own views, either to conclude in reaffirming them or to change them when we notice a loss of focus.

So many drag along behind them ideas from the past, emphasize what dedication used to be two thousand years ago. Intolerant behavior that closes the door on new ways of thinking and doing leads to myopic approaches that quickly destroy society—civic and religious. Spiritual leaders must react to this and give birth to tolerant behavior in every aspect of an organization.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: someecards.com, bruselense.files.wordpress.com

Articles of Faith: Where Are All the Spiritual Leaders?

Spiritual Leadership

In recent blogs, I have offered for consideration a series of qualities that should characterize spiritual leaders—a few of the many.

If spiritual leaders are true to their vision, then they should certainly abide by the following list of commands:

  • Do no harm
  • Maintain a sense of humility
  • Repair the past
  • See and look at things in a new way
  • Maintain the dream
  • Recognize the importance of love in leadership

So who do you think embodies these qualities?

Leaders We Have Known

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. 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.

Moreover, there are more writers who readily identify the absence of good spiritual leaders than they who can give us examples of authentic spiritual leaders today.

Here are a few comments to help make the point:

“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 is 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 GrintThe 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 charge of your will–the innermost core of your humanity.”

~Peter KoesterbaumLeadership: The Inner Side of Greatness, 2

On Serving Others

Let us hope that more men and women will take inspiration from Nelson Mandela and people like him and dedicate themselves to the service of others in leadership.

We need leaders motivated by inner values, and who are 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. However, when we look at our contemporary scene in leadership it looks as if it will take a long time to reach a situation where key leaders are men and women whose lives are motivated by inner values.

We are surrounded by greed for money, for power, for prestige, and for career advancement.

Faux Leadership

We see failures in leadership on a daily basis. Some pseudo-leaders do a lot of damage to their organizations and people not only by thwarting their growth but by creating unhealthy working environments that either draw the worst out of people or leave them depressed and sick at their own inability to get out of the situation that is stunting their values and growth.

Arrogant Aristocrats

Such an approach produces arrogant autocrats who ignore others, suppress their ideas, and intimidate when challenged.  Such leaders have a deep suspicion of liberty. Of course they are suspicious of others’ liberty, but not their own!

Failed Facilitators

Other managers and potential leaders give the impression of welcoming participation, but they are failed facilitators. Empowerment can not be taught by people who have practiced disempowerment for years, and workers quickly see through insincerity.

Unfortunately, the failed facilitator is often a good talker and seems to have the talents necessary for the work at hand. However, it is all show and talk and no substance.

Blind Visionaries

Some administrators make so many mistakes they seemed to have a natural ability for it. Typical indicators of incompetent administration include useless restructuring, a myopic immersion in trivial data, and the constant development of strategic plans that enthuse no one.

These blind visionaries, who surrender to mediocrity in their work and indifference toward their employees, may well occupy important positions but careful observation quickly shows that little actual management is being done.

Narcissist Leader

The narcissist who occupies a leadership role is primarily interested in self-importance and personal fame. At first he or she seems charismatic, offering grandiose plans and a compelling vision; the weakness is seeing their own vision, or their interpretation of events, or their direction and course of action as the only preordained path to follow.

Unfortunately, nothing comes of the hopes that followers place in this pseudo-leader because he or she is so focused on self, cannot work with others, and cannot accept input from others; this pseudo-leader limits others’ energy, contribution, and spirit.

Today’s Question

Recent examples in politics, business, and even religion, have confirmed the gut feelings of many regarding greed and lack of ethical commitment or social responsibility in many contemporary organizations and their leaders.

The selfishness reached overwhelming proportions as greedy people squandered enormous amounts of corporation money and perks on themselves while treating workers with meanness and disinterest.

In many organizations, leader pathology is a serious problem.

Although we witness many problems in organizations and frequent failures in administrators, we know many men and women who would like to move to a new leadership style. They are motivated by a selfless service of others, feel a sense of call or vocation to leadership, and are striving to live out some of the challenges presented in the chapters ahead.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: davidfunk.ca

Spiritual Leaders Must Repair the Past

Imperfect Past

In dealing with spiritual leadership it is more common to think about a leader’s impact on an organization’s present and future because of his or her values.

However, it is also critical that leaders take responsibility for the past they have created or inherited.

On Vision and Perspective

Vision relates primarily to the future and then to the present in so far as a spiritual leader makes present decisions in light of future hopes. However, it is not possible to construct a shared vision on defective foundations from the past.

  • Harm has often been done to others by former vision-less leaders, and that needs to be healed.
  • Harm has often been done to the integrity and trustworthiness of an organization, and that needs to be undone.
  • Sometimes the harm ends but the roots of evil are deep and a spiritual leader must dig out the evils of the past before moving forward.

Some organizational evils—such as the greed and the lack of ethics we have seen—take such a hold there is not much one can do but cut out the cancer before moving ahead.

Thus, not only does vision impact the future but it must also heal the past.

Visionary leaders often live in pain, when they confront the decay of an organization’s values, or see how co-workers have surrendered to mediocrity regarding the quality of their commitment. If transformative change is to occur everyone must take responsibility for the reform of structures and of the values of their organization; they must together raise up the shared vision and give birth to a new dawn.

Repairing the Past

A spiritual leader repairs the past in several ways. Before anything else a leader must humbly review his or her own life to identify serious or smaller failures that have done harm and may continue to do so.

Perhaps the first question a person in a leadership position should ask if whether he or she is suitable as a leader.

The best service some can perform for their organizations is to leave them.

In examining one’s own past in need of repair, an honest leader may identify the following:

  • Negative attitudes to people
  • Abusive misuses of the organization for one’s own benefits
  • A lack of direction
  • A failure to build community
  • An awareness of being distrusted, disliked, and disapproved of

Sometimes, a friend or mentor, a peer in another organization, or a spouse, can pinpoint obvious defects that a leader fails to see.

Healing Others’ Harm

A spiritual leader must repair harm done to others either by former leaders or by the organization’s unhealthy structures or policies. Every organization has people in pain for one reason or another, and before a leader can move forward to vision, he or she must restore others to they can give their best.

This means attention to a healthy working environment, just policies, and open communications.

It also calls for the removal of any unethical practices, misuse of power, unjust salary scales, and autocratic administration. Spiritual leaders will build a spirit of reconciliation, mutual appreciation, and a strong sense of community.

Healing Organizational Harm

A spiritual leader will need to give attention to repairing damage done by the organization itself, perhaps because of its lack of shared values, vision, and mission.

They will check the structural components:

  • Value statement
  • Strategic plan
  • Code of ethics
  • Oversight board
  • Hiring procedures
  • Decision-making processes
  • Conflict management procedures

Only when the organization functions to the benefit of workers can the leader move forward to vision.

Vision For the Future

In examining the past in view of a vision for the future, a spiritual leader must work with dedication on a series of convictions.

Mission precedes profits

Values precede strategies

Just wages precede shareholder returns

A leader’s sense of purpose precedes compensation package

The common good precedes personal advancement

Hope precedes stunted motivational techniques

So what type of healing is needed at your organization. Are the pain or dysfunction from the past apparent, or do they lurk underneath the surface? What can you do to quickly step up and address the past to help the present and the future? I would love to hear your thoughts!

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an author and workshop presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/

The Spiritual Leader’s Task to Maintain the Dream

The Sky's the Limit

The task of the spiritual leader is to serve others in the best and worst of times. Such a leader must be a person of integrity whom followers see as a person of credibility.

They expect such a leader to consistently maintain a climate of mutual trust and call the organization to an ongoing conversion to its vision.

A Grander Vision

But, vision is not something possessed by a minority in the organization, nor is it the exclusive responsibility of central administration. Rather, it belongs to everyone within an organization and all have something to contribute.  If the vision is to be relevant to changing times, it will mean skillfully and responsibly interpreting the vision.

At times, organizations have managers who live in arrogant isolation, failing to see the need for change in themselves and in their organizations. Such managers lack long-term commitment and become obstacles to organizational change and transformation.

Their days as leaders are numbered, since it is the essential task of leadership to produce change, whether it be personal, community, or organizational.

But to see things that others do not see, and then facilitate the required change, is an eventual component of leadership.

For leadership is the restless pursuit of what lies ahead.

Being Proactive

Reacting to changes that afflict an organization is not enough. Introducing change wherever needed, he or she carefully selects the direction that change needs to take. Effective leaders do more than react to what hits them, rather they proactively introduce changes some of which become the breakthroughs that lead to great organizations.

Part of a spiritual leader’s calling is to present vision so that it becomes the source of a dream that attracts others.

One’s scope as a leader has widened, giving one a new freedom to be what one has always dreamed of being and at the same time, little by little, to also help others to dream. When we seem to live with global burnout and people are depressed with their leaders, institutions, and hopes for the future, maintaining a dream is more important than ever.

The Power of The Dream

Great leaders use the power of the dream. The dream a spiritual leader promotes is that people can achieve personal fulfillment and can build community together. Working together in dialogue, collaboration, and dynamic relationships, we can enrich each other and in synergy achieve more together than as separate parts.

We can dream of uniting work and spirituality, believing we can do good while working well, and thus that we can contribute to the common good. In contemporary organizations with their tensions and pressures, a leader can still foster high morale.

The dream reminds us that all people are important for who they are and not for the kind of work they do.

A leader can create an environment that is conducive to human growth and spiritual maturity.

Drawing Others to the Dream

It is the leader’s task to draw others to the dream. This includes building positive attitudes from inside the organization and not being put off by inevitable criticisms. It starts by challenging old ways and showing the benefits of change and transformation.

A leader does this by sharing information and insights, and by raising issues no one else does.

It means sharing your thinking even if it unsettles and disturbs others.

Sharing the Love

At the same time a leader shares knowledge, he or she must share on an affective level, empathizing with others, and letting them know they are loved. The leader must evidence enthusiasm and excitement for the dream and inspire confidence that together people can attain it.

They needs to be optimistic, constantly joyful, and always ready to celebrate intermediate achievements on the journey to the dream.

Maintaining a dream is a sign of leadership maturity and calls the leader to set high attainable goals, to teach all the time, and to share and learn from others. A spiritual leader is a dreamer who offers refreshing and creative ideas and longs to communicate his or her dream, ideas, vision, and intuition with others.

There is a magical property about leadership, as the leader enables others to dream.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an author and workshop presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: 1.bp.blogspot.com

Articles of Faith: On Spiritual Leaders and Their Call to Love

Love

Spiritual leaders insist that people and relationships precede structures and tasks. This implies leaders need to think positively of others, try to understand them, forgive when necessary, and always show compassion.

After all, the journey to spiritual leadership begins with an awareness of being loved, not with the leader’s love for others.

Being Loved or Showing Love

The latter follows on the former and is a response to the call to leadership. It is a journey in which the leader daily makes decisions based on love. Thus, the leader changes their attitudes to life; rejecting selfishness, greed, self-satisfaction, and consequently moves away from self-centeredness onto a life of service to others.

Appreciating that one can transform leadership with love is a rigorous self-training.

When a leader is motivated by a conviction of the transforming value of love, he or she treats others with a natural benevolence, wishes them well before any encounter, appreciates the good in others, and presumes that they will do good. This positive, optimistic approach to others has a healing effect on relationships and opens up the development of a different kind of leadership.

Love Always Wins

Loving and encouraging approaches are more effective than adversarial ones and give the leader far more ability to influence others and draw the best out of them. In such an environment followers sense they are loved and grow as people and then contribute more to the common vision and mission.

When a leader focuses on the love of others in daily life, they emphasize simple human qualities that are also a noble part of being human—attitudes that are humanizing, caring, trusting, and supportive.

Focusing On Others

Focusing on others requires tolerance of their differences, dialogue, forgiveness, and reconciliation.It means mutual respect, appreciation of each other’s gifts and genuine solidarity.

A leader can do so much good to others by allowing them to be themselves, living in interdependence and mutual esteem. For such a leader the welfare of others is as important as one’s own.

This includes concern for others’ health and well-being, both material and spiritual.

Engaging in the welfare of others calls the leader to delight in others’ growth and advancement, furthering their rights, protecting their justice, and celebrating their achievements and progress.

Called to Love

A spiritual leader who recognizes that they are called to love makes a positive difference to other people’s lives by respecting their dignity, empowering them in whatever ways possible, thus releasing their human energy, talent, and dedication.

A spiritual leader can look into others’ hearts.

Such a leader does not impose views, vision, or priorities, but influences others to be the best they are capable of being. Part of that response will be to help others appreciate their own basic values, enduring purpose, and mission in life. The leader can also train others to be visionaries; helping them to see what others do not, but also challenging them to look at things in a different way.

This requires:

  • Understanding
  • Building connections
  • Giving visibility and significant responsibilities to others
  • Collaborating
  • Challenging constructively
  • Working toward shared values and mission

Recognizing that one is called to love has serious consequences, for love is very practical and demanding on a leader at every moment of each day.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an author and workshop presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources:  2.bp.blogspot.com

On Leadership, Humility and Authentic Spiritual Leadership

 Humility and Honor

Corruption, greed, and addiction to power and control over others ooze from the pseudo-leadership of so many contemporary leaders.

Adding insult to injury is that most of these people actually think they are virtuous. But everyone else around knows differently.

Authentic Spiritual Leadership

And yet, it is clear to anyone who studies authentic spiritual leadership that it is not based on power but on humility. This is a new model, a totally different way of thinking about leadership. This is the leadership of those who are aware of their vocation—they know they have not earned their leadership; it has been given to them.

Unfortunately, so many go through life today convinced that leadership is power.

Such superficial people fail to grasp the ultimate meaning of life or their own true destiny within the context of human development. There is no role in leadership today for arrogant, narcissistic people who emphasize their own self-importance, status, prestige, and power. One great mistake is at the root of all failed leadership—pride, and its constant focusing on self.

Leading With Honor

It is frequently the case that a leader has a place of honor in community, and he or she usually exceeds followers in many areas of organizational life with its interpersonal and task oriented skills. ‘

But such leaders should not exaggerate their own importance but rather insist on the importance of others and their gifts.

Leadership ultimately implies self-surrender, interpreting one’s meaning in life in the broader context of human development. Being able to appreciate the mystery of life and leadership as gifts helps one to be humble, to be one’s authentic self, to honestly know one’s strengths and weaknesses, and to engender genuine respect for others and their gifts.

Humility in Leadership

Humility in leadership is a recognition of one’s humanity and place in community. We are not in this world for our personal enhancement but to live and grow in solidarity with others. We are all struggling and striving to grow, and equally share in a spirituality of failure just as much as in one of mutual enrichment.

Even in our personal journey of spiritual leadership we can give ourselves permission to be less than perfect, as we experience insecurity, failure, and poverty.

Humility gives us the ability to bounce back, try again, experiment with fresh ideas, and stand up to resistance.

Humility helps us have faith, hope, and love in others, and especially in ourselves. Often there is more wisdom and courage in dealing humbly with failure than in expecting success all the time. Moreover, we learn so much in our humility that can help us in dealing with others. This is the paradox of leadership that our failures become successes, our weaknesses become strengths, and our own pain can teach us how to heal others.

Really Appreciating Others

Humility will teach us to appreciate others, to be more accountable, to keep a just perspective on efforts and results. It teaches us never to judge others without first judging ourselves. Humility reminds us not to belittle others, or criticize them, or to fail to give others our undivided attention. It insists we should not be pre-occupied with ourselves, to play favorites with others, to make distinctions based on status, or to embarrass people around us.

Above all humility teaches us to trust others, to practice integrity, to be open to improvement, and to be sincere in everything we do.

From the very start of one’s leadership of others one must be ready to live with an honest vulnerability.  The leader recognizes that leadership is a gift and is always aware of his or her own weak and lonely experience of self. He or she knows there is strength in discipline but also in honest vulnerability.

Not About Power

Leadership is not a way to power over others but a call to nurture the gifts of others. It means letting go of the desire to be always right, or to always have the answers. Successful leaders who admit their mistakes clearly earn more respect from their followers than do those who unsuccessfully try to hide them.

Some mistakes cause pain to others, but a good leader can acknowledge wrongdoing and genuinely apologize.

However, the leader also experiences the pain of failure without becoming insecure, and he or she can bounce back from suffering with an appreciation of how other people feel in times of hardship. Each one must ask if he or she is comfortable or afraid to let others see his or her leadership weaknesses. Of course, if a leader cannot accept his or her own limitations, he or she will probably have more difficulty accepting the limitations of others.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an author and workshop presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Image Sources: media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com