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Leadership and Spirituality

in Governance

Karel San Juan, SJ


Xavier University
5 January 2008

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Question
• As a leader, what makes your
life challenging?
• What about leadership is
challenging and difficult for
you?

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LEADERSHIP in
GOVERNANCE is a
complex and difficult
endeavor
3
Leadership is different from
Management
VMGs, strategies, techniques,
plans, interventions, tools
 Area of MANAGEMENT
Basic underlying assumptions:
the unconscious, taken for
granted beliefs, perceptions,
thoughts, feelings, motivations,
the “self”, relationships, culture,
change management
 Area of LEADERSHIP
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Leadership is different from
Management
 Management follows leadership,
not vice-versa
 Management maintains;
leadership drives, inspires,
energizes
 Leadership sets vision; management implements it
 Management tends toward mechanical, linear, &
technical approaches; leadership tends toward
creativity, flexibility & adaptiveness 5
WHAT CHALLENGES OUR LEADERSHIP?

EFFECTIVENESS
Achieving our goals;
doing things well

KEY
CHALLENGES IN
LEADERSHIP
ETHICS AVAILABILITY
Doing things Willingness &
morally; doing readiness to lead;
good things doing things with
commitment 6
GOVERNANCE INVOLVES
MANY THINGS
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

VALUES STAKEHOLDERS
NETWORKS 7
Getting to this is challenging enough.
We hope it is as neat as this.
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

VALUES STAKEHOLDERS
NETWORKS 8
But it is not as neat as this.
This is governed by COMPLEXITY.
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

VALUES STAKEHOLDERS
NETWORKS 9
COMPLEXITY AT DIFFERENT
LEVELS
Leader’s CONTEXT AND ENVIRONMENT

Leader’s Leader’s RELATIONSHIP


SELF WITH
FOLLOWERS

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The complexity of context
 Persistence of global problems:
poverty, natural calamities, environment,
terrorism, ethno-religious conflicts
 Rapid changes: technology,
knowledge & information,
communications, media
 Globalization vis-à-vis localization:
business, livelihood, health, population

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The complexity of context
 Turbulence, chaos: magnitude of
problems
 More difficult to predict, control
 Ambiguity & uncertainty
 Tensions & contradictions
 Plurality of meanings &
interpretations of reality & truth
 The “unconscious” in organizations
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The organizational iceberg
VMGs, strategies, techniques,
plans, interventions, tools
 the visible

Basic underlying assumptions:


the unconscious, taken for
granted beliefs, perceptions,
thoughts, feelings, motivations,
the “self”, relationships, culture,
change management
 the invisible
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The complexity of leader’s self
 The psychology of leaders: needs,
motivations, drives, impulses, fears,
emotions; conscious and unconscious
 Leader’s “inner theater”/
backstage vis-à-vis
outward / onstage behavior
 Leader’s exposure to power
and public attention
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The dangers of power
To be big! To be powerful! This is and has
always been the longing of those who are
little or feel they are little…
Whatever men are striving for originates from
their urgent attempts to overcome the
impression of deficiency, insecurity,
weakness …
Our guiding ideal is concretized as power
over others … The striving for personal
power is a disastrous delusion and
poisons man’s living together (Adler, 1966)

15
Childhood and power
The degree of encouragement and
frustration children experience as they
grow up…has a lasting influence on their
perception of themselves and others and the
relationships they form throughout their lives.

Any imbalance between their feelings of


helplessness and the degree of protective nurturing they
receive from their parents will be felt as a psychological
injury….[and] will feed their natural sense of
impotence…they will commonly respond with feelings
of rage, a desire for vengeance, a hunger for personal
power, and compensatory fantasies of omnipotence.
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Childhood and power
This dynamic continues throughout life, and if it
is not adequately resolved within individuals as
they grow up, it is likely to be reactivated with
devastating effect when they reach
leadership positions and
learn to play the game of power.

(Kets de Vries, 1993)

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Seeking power
The person who seeks power is the one
who is just exactly likely to be the one who
shouldn’t have it, because he neurotically
and compulsively needs power. Such
people
are apt to use power very badly; that is, use
it for overcoming, overpowering, hurting
people, or to say it in other words, they use
it for their own self-gratifications, conscious
or unconscious, neurotic as well as healthy. 18
(Maslow, 1998)
High power motivation in men
• Four main actions:
2. Power-oriented reading, or reading about
sex, sports, aggression
3. Accumulating prestige possessions like
guns, cars, credit cards
4. Participating in competitive sports
5. Belonging to and holding office in
organizations
- McClelland, 1975
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The dangers of narcissism
• Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
(e.g. exaggerates achievements and talents,
expects to be recognized as superior without
commensurate achievements)

• Is preoccupied with fantasies of


unlimited success, power,
brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

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• Believes that he/she is “special” and unique
and can only be understood by, should
associate with, other special or high status
people
• Requires excessive admiration
• Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable
expectations of favorable treatment or automatic
compliance with his or her expectations)

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• Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes
advantage of others to achieve his or her
expectations

• Lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or


identify with the feelings and needs of others
• Is often envious of others or believes
that others are envious of him or her
• Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors
or attitudes
- American Psychiatric Association, 1994
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Self-entitlement &
self-justification
When leaders make exceptions or
justifications of themselves
in moral requirements

Based on a claim of leaders as being


“special”; hence entitled to
more privileges than others

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The complexity of
leader-follower relations
 Transference trap: we project our ideals,
fantasies, hopes, fears, problems on our
leaders

 Freud: “The patient transfers the feelings he


had toward his parents as a child to the
person of the physician… blows the physician up larger
than life…”; all relationships are colored by previous
relationships, esp. those with early caregivers
 Results in uncritical & automatic loyalty, submission,
fascination, seduction, a “hypnotic” effect,
unrealistic expectations, dependence
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COMPLEXITY AT DIFFERENT
LEVELS
Leader’s CONTEXT AND ENVIRONMENT

Leader’s Leader’s RELATIONSHIP


SELF WITH
FOLLOWERS

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Question
• How do I experience these
complexities in my leadership
practice?
• Which ones affect me the most,
and how?

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Governance is governed by COMPLEXITY
of CONTEXT, SELF, RELATIONSHIPS
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

STAKEHOLDERS
VALUES NETWORKS 27
There are leaders who…
• Can formulate great plans, deliver great speeches,
yet cannot implement due to personal and
interpersonal problems
• Do not practice what they preach (e.g. business,
sexual ethics, family life)
• Are “successful” yet addictive and alcoholic,
depressed and isolated
• Can exhort others to action, but afraid to take risks
when their person and family interests are
concerned
• Cannot cope with changes in people and their
environment, and will just do what they’ve always
been used to 28
Underlying this are leaders’
CAPACITIES and DISPOSITIONS
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

STAKEHOLDERS
VALUES NETWORKS 29
Capacities and Dispositions
• Capacities: range of skills, competencies,
abilities, capabilities
• Dispositions: underlie capacities:
attitudes, stances, temperaments,
inclinations, preferences;
ethos, tenor, character,
spirit, potential,
intentionality
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Capacities and dispositions
can be…
• SELF-INDULGENT: self-centered, self-directed,
feed into needs and motivations of the leader’s
ego
OR
• SELF-TRANSCENDENT:
overcomes the self, toward
responding to the needs and situations of others
and the world
• WE HAVE TENDENCIES FOR BOTH. WE LIVE
IN TENSION WITH THESE TENDENCIES.
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Dispositions
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
DEFENDEDNESS INTERIORITY
Defending one’s ego Depth of self-clarity
from knowing one’s and self-awareness;
issues of power, discipline of
control, needs, drives, reflectiveness and
desires, and fears reflexivity; free to be
which affect one’s authentic
leadership

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Dispositions
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
GRANDIOSITY HUMILITY
Inflated view of the self, Openness to listen, be
leading to self- vulnerable, learn
promotion, over- from, forgive, care
confidence, for, accompany, be
entitlement, empathetic, and
narcissism, greed for serve others
personal power, Free to let go of power
dismissiveness of and leadership, and
others be a follower

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“If you just listen,
people feel better”

34
“The final test of the leader
is how well
his or her successor does”

35
Dispositions
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
SELF-PRESERVATION MAGNANIMITY
Fear and avoidance of Generosity and
risks and failures, courage of heart
leading to passive and soul, to do and
detachment, to be more for
withdrawal, over- others and the world
cautiousness, Free to give and offer
reluctance to exercise the self, to sacrifice,
power & leadership, and embrace
and mediocrity suffering and pain

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Capacities
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
BIAS DISCERNMENT
Tendency to decide Capacity to see,
heavily-influenced choose, and decide,
(consciously or not) amid complexity and
by personal ambiguity, free from
preferences, personal biases and
conditionings, inclinations, and
attachments, and based on
shortsightedness transcendent values

37
Capacities
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
DOMINATION COMPANIONSHIP
Authoritarian tendency Capacity to trust
to impose one’s will others, build
regardless of others’, resonance with
obstructing others’ them, work with and
right and freedom empower others,
and be accountable
for one’s actions;
free from domination
and transference

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Capacities
Self-indulgent Self-transcendent
SELF-COMPLACENCY SELF-INTEGRATION
Tendency to remain in Capacity to question
one’s self-sufficient and assess one’s
comfort zones, roles, self, and struggle
perspectives; and with it, embrace
refusal to be tensions and
challenged of one’s contradictions,
assumptions toward wholeness,
growth, integration

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TRANSCENDENT LEADERSHIP
SELF-INTEGRATION (vs. SELF-COMPLACENCY)

INTERIORITY HUMILITY
(vs. (vs.
DEFENDEDNESS) GRANDIOSITY)

DISCERNMENT COMPANIONSHIP
(vs. (vs.
BIAS) DOMINATION)

MAGNANIMITY (vs. SELF-PRESERVATION)

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Questions
• What are my tendencies toward
self-indulgence and toward self-
transcendence?
• What pushes me toward
transcendent leadership? What
prevents me from transcendent
leadership?
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Leaders are not and will never
be perfect.
We have tendencies for
both self-indulgence and
self-transcendence.
The objective is self-knowledge,
self-understanding, self-acceptance
toward self-transcendence.
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Transcendence according to
Abraham Maslow (1971)
• Entails “rising above one’s own personal
will, being in charge, taking control,
needing control”
• “Transcenders” are drawn to the “values
of Being”: perfection, truth, beauty,
goodness, unity – “higher motivations”
or “metamotivations”
• They are devoted, in a stance of
“oblation,” to tasks “outside
themselves,” like vocation, duty, or
“beloved jobs” 43
• They dwell in the realm of Being, or “B-realm,”
where one is disposed to peak experiences,
insight, conversion, illumination, & fusion with
nature & the universe
• They possess high levels of “perspicuity,” the
capacity to see reality with the least possible
“contaminating effect of the observer, & of his
fears and wishes and selfish calculations,”
increasing one’s capacity to see
truth, goodness, & beauty, & calling
forth a response of love, devotion,
loyalty
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• They transcend many things: one’s time,
culture, past, pain, ego, selfishness,
weaknesses, limitations, imperfections,
dependency, opinions of others, basic
needs, their present situation

• They transcend dichotomies: the


tendency to think black & white, either-or,
zero-sum, we-they, polarities, mutual
exclusiveness, oppositeness – toward a
way of seeing oriented toward integration,
synergy, unity, inclusiveness, wholeness 45
SELF-
TRANSCENDENCE
GOES BEYOND
SELF-
ACTUALIZATION

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Transcendence leads to freedom
 To make choices and decisions free
from biases, defendedness, grandiosity,
self-preservation, self-complacency, and
domination
 To struggle to make such free choices
is the essence of transcendent leadership

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TRANSCENDENT LEADERSHIP NEEDS
A CENTER
SELF-INTEGRATION (vs. SELF-COMPLACENCY)

INTERIORITY HUMILITY
(vs. (vs.
DEFENDEDNESS) GRANDIOSITY)

?
DISCERNMENT COMPANIONSHIP
(vs. (vs.
BIAS) DOMINATION)

MAGNANIMITY (vs. SELF-PRESERVATION)

48
The center of Transcendent Leadership
is a RELATIONSHIP
SELF-INTEGRATION (vs. SELF-COMPLACENCY)

INTERIORITY HUMILITY
(vs. (vs.
DEFENDEDNESS) GRANDIOSITY)
Relationship
with one’s
Transcendence
DISCERNMENT COMPANIONSHIP
(vs. (vs.
BIAS) DOMINATION)

MAGNANIMITY (vs. SELF-PRESERVATION)

49
Relationship with one’s
Transcendence
• One’s “Transcendence” may be God,
Spirit, Higher Power, soul, truth, wisdom,
faith, ideology, and others that help a
person transcend and be free
• This relationship gives energy and
inspiration, builds will and intention,
demands focus, nurturing and discipline
• This relationship with one’s
Transcendence is what SPIRITUALITY is
all about
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Transcendence for the Christian
• All human beings experience restlessness,
insatiability, contingency: we yearn for truth, love,
happiness, freedom, goodness, the infinite, ultimate
• Human experiences fall short: only God is infinite,
absolute, unconditional, constant; only God suffices
• We yearn because the Infinite is within us
• Jesus Christ embodies the full potential
of a human person, the Infinite God
becoming human
• Christian transcendence is personal
relationship with Jesus 51
Spirituality is different from Religion
• Spirituality is the way in which people connect
the activities of their daily lives with their
wellsprings of deepest meaning
• It is a relationship made possible by our:
 opening to the influence of a higher power
 acknowledgment of that power’s rightful place,
 conscious alignment with its aims, and
 assiduous cultivating of its presence.
• Religion is a path to spirituality, a system of
attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
(Thompson, 2000)
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Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)
• “The central and most fundamental
of all the intelligences because it
becomes the source of guidance” of
the other three intelligences (mental,
physical, emotional)

- Stephen Covey, 2004, The 8th Habit

53
Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)
[Covey, 2004]

Mental (IQ)

Spiritual (SQ)

Social/
Emotional (EQ) Physical (PQ)

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Spirituality as integral, an
imperative to leadership
• “Leadership in turbulent times is
spiritual” (Margaret Wheatley, 2005)
• Leaders are “propelled inexorably into
the realm of the spiritual” (Peter Vaill,
1998)
• Spirituality is not just an option nor a fad
in leadership: leadership is an inherently
spiritual endeavor
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What then is leadership about?
• Beyond mere “success”, there must
be a greater goal of leadership
• Such greater goals may be:
to find meaning,
to grow and mature,
and to transcend
• For both leader and
follower
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Loevinger Erikson Fowler Maslow Gilligan
(ego) (life cycle) (faith) (needs) (moral)
Presocial, Trust vs. Pre-verbal, Physiological Selfish
autistic Mistrust undifferentia-
ted Safety Care
Symbiotic Autonomy vs.
shame/doubt Magical,
Impulsive projective Belongingness Universal Care
Initiative vs.
Self-protective guilt
Mythic, linear Self-esteem
Industry vs.
Wilber
Conformist
inferiority Conventional Self-actualiza- (synthesis)
Conscientious Identity vs. tion
Individual – Egocentric
role confusion
Individualistic Intimacy vs. reflexive
Self- Socio-centric
isolation transcend-
Autonomous Conjuctive
Generativity ence
faith
vs. stagnation World-centric
Integrated 57
Integrity vs. Universalizing
Leadership helps transform
consciousness
• “Integral leaders” like Mandela, Dalai
Lama, Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt,
Martin Luther King, Gandhi – accessed
the world-centric level of consciousness
• More research shows the correlation of
higher levels of consciousness,
“maturity,” “character” and leadership
capacity & effectiveness

58
“People work for money
but die for a cause”

“70% quit their bosses,


not their organizations”
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Transcendent Leaders
SELF-INTEGRATION (vs. SELF-COMPLACENCY)

INTERIORITY HUMILITY
(vs. (vs.
DEFENDEDNESS) GRANDIOSITY)
Relationship
with one’s
Transcendence
DISCERNMENT COMPANIONSHIP
(vs. (vs.
BIAS) DOMINATION)

MAGNANIMITY (vs. SELF-PRESERVATION)

60
The process of Governance can be led in
Spirit by Transcendent Leaders
VISION PROGRAMS
MISSION STRATEGIES PROJECTS
GOALS ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES TASKS

CAPABILITY-BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION,
MONITORING, EVALUATION

STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS, RESOURCES, PROCESSES

STAKEHOLDERS
VALUES NETWORKS 61
Leaders, then,
bring HOPE
to our complex world

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Contemporary Leadership &
Ancient Spiritualities
• Contemporary leadership is learning more & more
from the rich ancient spiritual traditions (Taoism,
Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sufi,
Confucianism)
• The turbulence and complexity of the leader’s
environment have led leaders to an inevitable
“spiritual threshold,” which necessitates entry to
the “domain of spiritual traditions”
• Confucian Great Learning teaches: “If you want to
be a leader, you have to be a real human being. You
must recognize the true meaning of life”
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ANNEX:

IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
AND LEADERSHIP

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Themes in Ignatian spirituality
• The spirit of Magis and the desire for great
things
• Spiritual pilgrimage and discernment in the
journey
• The transformation of self toward interior
freedom
• Engaging the world in ministry
• Companionship for mission

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Ignatian spirituality as a
spirituality of leadership today
• For Christians, a way of forming Christian
leadership in mission
• The charisms of other Catholic spiritualities:
poverty, silence & solitude, proclamation of
truth, monasticism, humanism
• Ignatian themes are relevant now to leadership

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Ignatian spirituality as a
spirituality of leadership today
For non-Christians, a way of forming a leadership that is:

MAGIS-DRIVEN TRANSCENDENT
& INTEGRATING

DISCERNING

VOCATION/MISSION- CARING /
CENTERED ACCOMPANYING
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Ignatian leadership
Magis-driven leadership
Aligning leadership energy &
desire with a spirit of
great-hearted generosity,
magnanimity, passion,
love & service for others,
& excellence in everything.

68
The virtue of the sacred heart
“The most difficult work of leadership
involves learning to experience distress
without numbing yourself.
The virtue of the sacred heart lies in the
courage to maintain your innocence and
wonder, your doubt and curiosity, and your
compassion and love even through the
darkest, most difficult moments”
(Heifetz & Linsky, 2002)

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Magis creates moral excellence
• “Bonitas”: moral excellence, goodwill,
generosity

• “Probitas”: moral integrity, uprightness,


probity

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Ignatian leadership
Transcendent & Integrating
Leadership
Accepting one’s self in all its
strengths & contradictions,
humble & courageous submission to
a process of formation & conversion,
governed by
one’s relationship with a
Transcendent

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Leading toward “hidden wholeness”
Good leadership comes from
people who have penetrated
their own inner darkness
And arrived at the place where
we are one with one another,
People who can lead the rest
of us to a place of “hidden
wholeness”
Because they have been there
and know the way
(Parker Palmer, 2000)

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73
Ignatian leadership
Discerning leadership

Disciplined sensitivity (sentir),


familiarity, & obedience to
the movement & directives
of the Transcendent active in
one’s life & leadership, in
one’s inner self &
outer world, as
contemplatives-in-action

74
Ignatian leadership
Vocation & mission-centered
leadership
Grounding one’s leadership
in a sense of one’s unique
& transcendent calling for self &
the world, and in the
continuing search in faith
that such process requires
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Discernment and commitment
• Vocation is the place • The moment one
where your deep definitely commits
gladness meets the oneself, then
world’s deep need Providence moves
(Frederick Buechner) too (W. N. Murray)

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Ignatian leadership
Caring & Accompanying
Leadership
Leading united with others
in common mission & journey;
inspired by mutual love,
friendship, accompaniment,
guidance, and conversation:
cura personalis, apostolica,
socialis

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Ignatian leadership today
MAGIS-DRIVEN

TRANSCENDENT / DISCERNING
INTEGRATING

VOCATION / CARING /
MISSION-CENTERED ACCOMPANYING
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Spiritual formation of leaders

A spiritual practice

Spiritual direction & Leadership as


accompaniment
Community life
mission, service

Individual study &


reflection
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