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Entries for July 2015

  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute Many of us in leadership roles believe we’re pretty good at what we do, we value our people, we are familiar with their wants and needs, and we go out of our way to meet them. Ironically, part of delivering on our leadership aspirations is recognizing that team members’ needs change and admitting upfront that we can’t always satisfy those needs. A case drawn from the life of a non-profit, church-based organization illustrates these realities. The 6-member team consisted of people with diverse backgrounds...

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After the Jesuits in Coimbra, Portugal, had established many vibrant apostolates, St. Ignatius had a concern. He was afraid their success would lead to complacency. If that happened, all their hard work and graces would ultimately accomplish nothing. He wrote to them in a tone that makes it seem as if they were on the brink of disaster — no doubt because he thought their successes were leading them in that direction. “For the love of God, do not be careless or tepid. For if tautness breaks the bow, idleness breaks the soul,” he cautioned. “Try to maintain a holy and discreet ardor in work a...

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  Tis the season when our thoughts turn to blessings and the importance of generosity. Two holidays this month — National Philanthropy Day and Thanksgiving Day — help focus our attention. But preparations for Christmas and end-of-the-year tax planning can also draw our gaze to matters of giving. National Philanthropy Day is observed Nov. 15 and this year Thanksgiving Day is Nov. 25, by which time the Christmas shopping season will be in full swing. In the midst of the seasonal rush, many people who itemize their taxes will also be looking to notch out a little time to make sure their donations to ...

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  When it comes to delegating and growing good people, a leader is always faced with a delicate balancing act. One the one hand, if you don't give people some opportunities to take responsibility, they will never grow — and the best and brightest will leave you to find more fertile places to grow. On the other hand, if you give them more responsibility than they're prepared to handle, you are setting them up for failure — and that can have long term effects on their confidence and your trust. What's a leader to do? In The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus, we say that ef...

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  Near the end of a Catholic Leading Like Jesus Encounter, participants view a short video about a Catholic Charities program in New Orleans that takes young people out of incarceration and off the streets and helps their put their lives on track. Eventually, they learn how to make a living in the hospitality industry. Called Café Reconcile, to date it has graduated more than 500 youths ages 16-22 from its 9-week program of basic life skills, interpersonal skills and work skills. Although the video, produced by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, does not use the term "leading like Jesus," the ...

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Generosity key to productivity

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

Most of us are frantically conscious of how we have to hoard time. After all, how else are we going to get anything done? St. Ignatius advised his charges to take another approach. "In business matters, be generous with your time; that is, if you can, do today what you promise for tomorrow." Lest you think these are the other-worldly ruminations of some mystical idealist, recall that Ignatius led a very busy life — and directed the Society of Jesus, which he founded, to include legions of men with a huge influence in the world before he died. Certainly he had to spend his limited amount of time and en...

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  Peter Block’s quote above puts us of a mind to mention a basic principle of the Lead Like Jesus Movement and S3 Leadership: Effective leadership begins on the inside. Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, founders of the Lead Like Jesus Movement, made that point very early in their book Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time [LINK to Amazon w/our code]. It’s critical, they added, that every leader answers two questions: Whose am I? Who am I? Most of us think the second question is the most important one in life. But Blanchard and Hodges insist that the fi...

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  How to Win Friends and Influence People is the title of a best-selling back by Dale Carnegie published way back in 1937. But St. Ignatius of Loyola was addressing that same subject centuries ago. And all the talk today about “customer-centered” enterprises would not have been alien to the founder of the Jesuits. When the pope sent Jesuits on diplomatic missions, Ignatius advised them: “In dealing with people of position or influence, if you are to win their affection for the greater glory of God our Lord, look first to their disposition and accommodate yourselves to them.” He even of...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute At various times in our lives, we’ve all suffered the slings and arrows of difficult change. Maybe a move forced us to change schools and reluctantly leave dear friends behind. Maybe it was heading off to college. Love notwithstanding, maybe it involved adjusting to life with a spouse. Maybe it was the arrival of a new baby. In each case, the change opened us up to new adventures and growth. In many cases, the change was one we actually chose to make. But whether we chose the change or it imposed itself on us, we ca...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute In a fascinating Harvard Business Review blog post, Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine, says the key to high performing organizations is recognizing that culture matters. And in an organizational culture, love matters most. Taylor quotes famous business guru Peter Drucker, who once said: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." A sound strategy is fine — even necessary. But leaders need to build cultures that support strategy implementation. Without a sound underlying organizational culture, s...

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