Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spirituality And Leadership

The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living once studied the idea of leadership in the writings of Thomas Merton.  While Merton did not specifically address the issue of leadership, his writings prompted the following questions:
  • How is the inner life of a leader integral to leadership style?
  • How are core personality traits reflected in the way a person leads?
The Institute identified the following six key characteristics of a leader.
  1. Compassion
  2. Courage
  3. Humility
  4. Relational
  5. Clarity of Vision/Intuition
  6. Openness to Change
In my opinion, these characteristics support what many refer to as “Servant Leadership”.  True leadership is a life of service.  In our society, especially in politics, leaders more often than not seek their own self-interests and the promotion of their personal values rather than serve the needs of the people they represent.  In history, the greatest leaders have been servants not dictators.  Leaders should be compassionate, they should be courageous, they should be humble, they should be people oriented, they should be visionary, they should intuitively know what is the right thing to do, and they should be open to the change that supports what is right.   

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