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Entries for July 2015

God will not be outdone in generosity. For the sake of our salvation, He gave His only Son. God holds nothing back. To imitate Him, we must give as He gives. Aware of God's generosity, St. Ignatius taught his followers this prayer: Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not count the cost, to fight and not heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not ask for any reward except that of knowing that we do your will. How might I serve God and my neighbor more generously in the days ahead? What can I do today to better know God's will and to conform to it today? ...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute In The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus, we describe how a true servant leader recognizes that each human being is unique, and if we want to contribute to a person's development, we have to build a relationship with them that is intimate enough to illuminate their uniqueness. Here's a true story that illustrates the value of intimacy in leadership. The young man — let's call him Rick — was an editor of one of the weekly newspapers in a group our company had purchased. His paper was located in a ...

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We need to use the gifts God gave us It's clear that Jesus sets the bar very high when he speaks of our potential. At one point he tells his disciples: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt 5:48) At another point he tells them: "Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these. (Jn 14:12) So he expects us to be as perfect as God, Himself — and to do ever greater works than he did while he was on earth? Isn't that setting the bar too high? No, he doesn't expect that from us. But he is reminding us that life ...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute The new football season is a great time to consider the question: What difference does leadership make? Considering the number of multimillion dollar contracts being awarded to college and professional coaches alike, some of America's most successful academicians and entrepreneurs obviously think it makes a huge difference. And they're right — it does! — even if they're not always very skilled at picking the best coaches to lead their teams to victory. If you follow football, you're sure to see...

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  Brian Vogrinc in Rockford, IL, and Randy Hain in Roswell, GA, have three things in common. Both are Catholic laymen. Both are professionals in the executive search business. And both are using their professional skills in their parishes to assist people who are unemployed. Randy, managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search in Roswell, near Atlanta, is a frequent contributor to a variety of Catholic publications seeking to integrate the laity's work and faith. Brian, president and partner at Vogrinc & Short, was a recent guest on a radio program hosted by Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Insti...

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One thing hasn't changed since the 1500s when St. Ignatius of Loyola impressed upon his young students the urgency of their mission. He said the world needs them because Christian witness was all too rare in the world. He wrote: "If you recognize this obligation and wish to employ yourselves in promoting God's honor, the times you are living in make it incumbent indeed on you to make your desires known by works." Today we might say: "It's important that we walk our talk." Things to think about: If I wish my life to glorify God, I must make that desire known by works. What can I d...

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  We knew a man once who confessed that he didn’t like being a parent. We asked him why. He said it always made him feel like a failure. We asked him for specifics. “Because my kids never do anything the first time I tell them to,” he said of his four children, all under 10 years of age. He contrasted his role as a parent with his role as a high school vocational arts teacher. “Sure, some of the students like to goof around, and none of them listen all the time. But when I tell them to get started on something, most of them do it. At home, I’ll say something and the kids just ignore...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute [LINK: www.YeshuaLeader.com] Recall Douglas McGregor’s classic distinction between the assumptions of Theory X and Theory Y leaders: Theory X Leaders assume that people are generally lazy, don’t want to assume responsibility, want to do the minimum possible and thus they require constant prodding and supervision. Theory Y Leaders assume that people generally want to perform well and to contribute, even if they initially don’t have the skills to do so, and that if their skills are nurtured, they will gr...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute Two dramatic illustrations of selfless leadership have commanded front page headlines in recent months. We’re talking about the examples of U.S. Airways Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger and Captain Richard Phillips of the U.S.-flagged merchant ship Maersk Alabama. We don’t know if either is an example of someone consciously trying to lead like Jesus. But it’s clear that the actions of both men point to the incredible power of leading selflessly — as Jesus did and said his disciples should do too. ...

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  By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute A reader who has worked in Catholic ministry for more than 25 years recently wrote: “For your next issue of The Catholic Leader, would you consider doing a follow-up to the article ‘The Role of Humility in Fostering Effective Listening and Leadership Skills’? I’d like to see how you would analyze the pope’s recent letter about the Society of St Pius concerns.” The reader also said he was impressed that Pope Benedict “listened to what was being said both internally and externally,&rdq...

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