The Midwest Leadership Institute has developed a new metaphor to describe how effective leadership increases the performance and value of organizations: it’s a matter of breathing life into an organization. This metaphor is reflected in a new section of MLI’s web site called LifeBreath Leadership.

LifeBreath Leadership flows out of a realization that every organization is a living organism — and that to think of organizations as mechanical realities, like a watch, obscures more than it reveals.

Like any organism, an organization relies on various metabolic processes to maintain life and health and to achieve growth — and many of these processes involve exchanges with the external environment.

Perhaps the most basic exchange for higher organisms is the process of breathing — obtaining, in some way, the oxygen needed to support all essential life processes.

At a deeper level, the Judeo-Christian tradition has recognized that all life is a gift of God, graciously given to us over and over again in each moment with each breath. So we read:

The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 
- Genesis 2:7 (NAB)
As disciples, we are called to be an instrument of God’s life-giving breath for individuals and organizations that we encounter.

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