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Entries for July 2015

Keeping first things first

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, wanted to keep life simple and properly focused for his followers. Thus, he advised them: "In every good choice ... our intention must be simple. I must consider only the end for which I am created — that is, for the praise of God our Lord and for the salvation of my soul: Hence, whatever I choose must help me to this end for which I am created." Of course, we have to remember that Ignatius did not see the salvation of one's soul as a solitary project. On the contrary, a person's role in salvation is to be open to God's grace in their lives &mda...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Writing for Entrepreneur, Carol Tice identifies five types of bosses who drive people crazy — and also drive them out the door, creating a costly mix of high turnover and low productivity. Of course, the situation is hardly as toxic as the one depicted in the new movie Horrible Bosses, where three people set out to kill their bosses. But the movie has put the spotlight on that proverbial 800 pound gorilla in way too many organizations. Tice cites a recent survey of more than 400 workers that found 46% of them had worked for what they considered an &...

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  You may mean well but are distracted by other things. Or you may not even realize that you are not giving someone else your undivided attention. But your body language speaks volumes. And if it doesn't communicate that you're interested, you'll undermine the collaboration you probably want and certainly need to lead high performing teams. Here's how you can get your body to communicate that you really care about the communication you are having. Hiring: Get a better fit by asking better questions More and more we have come to realize how important it is to have good fits in the workplace. No...

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Learning and virtue both needed

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

  St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, had a message for his followers that is worth recalling in a time that often worships instant gratification and self-indulgence. He reassured his followers that when they took time to study and grow, they were still serving their neighbor because they were increasing their capacity to serve their neighbor. Some service simply cannot be provided without a certain level of expertise. So if people don't set aside time to develop that expertise, they will never be able to serve in the way God otherwise equipped them to serve. He also taught that preparing ones...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute In the last issue of The Catholic Leader, we offered eight tips for building trust in the workplace. The eighth one was "demonstrate competence." Under that rubric we wrote: "People with real expertise inspire trust and exercise influence whether they want to or not. Learn your craft. Master your craft. Then be willing to share what you know without "Lording over others." Becoming a master is not about showing off or feeding your ego; it's about serving your mission. If that's your inspiration, people will gravitate to you an...

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  People looking to stay on track as an S3 Leader will want to consider an ancient meditative practice called "Lectio divina." Don't let the Latin turn you off, says Trappist Brother Simeon Leiva. Brother Leiva, a Scripture scholar and monk at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA, says it's an ideal way to unplug from worldly distractions and become more intimate with Jesus, according to a report from Catholic News Service. "Lectio divina" — "the reading of the sacred" or "the divine reading" — dates from the second century. It uses a pattern of rea...

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  St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, advised his followers to always listen carefully and critically before speaking — and to avoid flying off the handle in the course of discussions. He wrote: "Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meanings, leanings and desires of those who speak. You will thus know better when to speak and when to be silent." Notice that his focus is on understanding. It's easy enough to jump on people's words and phrases, trying to discredit them or their views, mocking them with sarcasm or distorti...

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  It’s easy to pile praise on others if they are the least bit competent. Generally, our biggest impediment is just being too busy to notice the praiseworthy behavior or, when we notice it, to stop and laud it. Criticism is another matter. Generally it’s difficult to criticize another — unless their behavior makes us angry. And it’s especially difficult to constructively criticize — where not only do we offer the criticism in a healthy, helpful spirit, but the other accepts it in that spirit and uses it to grow and improve their performance. Even when we mean well and can act fr...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute In all the material world, there is nothing quite like trust. It is the grease that lubricates relationships and makes effective human interaction possible. It is the glue that holds organizations of all sizes and purposes together. Generally speaking, the more trust there is among members of an organization — be it as small as a marriage or as large as a global enterprise — the more smoothly every process will work. And when things go wrong for whatever reason, as inevitably they will, the more quickly and better they will be fixed....

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Lent is a leadership season

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute When I was a kid, Lent was all about giving up things. Initially, I competed with my classmates to come up with the most awe-inspiring sacrifice. it was especially important to do better than the girls, who seemed to have more of a gift for such things. If someone gave up one thing, I would give up two. If someone gave up something really big and essential to a happy life — like candy — I would give up watching TV. If someone else gave up going to the movies, I would give up having any fun at all. It was a good formula for saintly perfection e...

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