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We’ve all heard the old adages: “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, don’t say anything at all.” “It is better to be quiet and to let people think you might be ignorant than to speak up and confirm it.” We also know that sometimes we are so eager to impress or so fearful of silence that we almost can’t help blurting out something — almost anything — to fill the void. St. Ignatius of Loyola almost certainly would have advised you to adhere to the adages and let the silence happen if it must. In any event, he was a consistent critic of what he...

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It’s not unusual for leaders to be quick thinkers — people who are able to process information rapidly and respond creatively. That’s a good thing. But often such people are impatient with people who think and speak more slowly — and that’s a bad thing. If you finish people’s sentences or frequently interrupt them, you discourage their feedback ... and lose any benefits it can provide. Here’s a quick self-test to determine if this is something that should concern you: Do you sometimes find yourself losing track of details when people are speaking because you are thinking a...

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By Father Eugene Hemrick Director, National Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood As I was leaving the National Gallery of Art on a clear, warm evening last fall, I did a double-take at the unending line that had formed in front of and around the U.S. Capitol. People literally were pouring onto the Capitol grounds from everywhere to pay their last respects to Rosa Parks, lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.  … Above everything else, greatness stands for a person's willingness to stick up for what is important. Great people have great vision, make bold decisions, involve themselves deeply in eve...

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Until the mid-20th century, the management task through all of human history was compliance. Then, realizing that “you get more bees with honey than with vinegar,” management’s focus moved to cooperation. But now in the Age of Information, with what Peter Drucker called “knowledge workers” making up an ever larger part of the workforce, we see incredible leaps in organizational effectiveness when leaders foster contribution. That’s a quick look at our C3 Leadership Framework. We’ll be talking more about it and offering practical tips for how you can achieve C3 performance lev...

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Writing for SmartBlog on Leadership, Gretchen Rosswurm suggests eight ways to keep your people engaged in their work. By engagement she means "what employees or teams do to make everything go a little better for each other, their customers and their communities." In harmony with our own approach to leadership development, she advises that a leader's "behaviors are hugely influential," and how leaders interact with their teams "can build or break down engagement." Here are her eight suggestions: 1. Give your time because "the greatest gift leaders can give their em...

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Keeping first things first

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

What makes the Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus unique is our focus on S3 Leadership -- servant, steward and shepherd. Many of you are familiar with these concepts. But no doubt some of your aren't. And all of us can use a reminder from time to time. So here's the 10-second "elevator speech" outline. S1, Servant - It's not about me. S2, Steward - It's not mine. S3, Shepherd - People are precious. Servant Leadership is not a new concept. The term dates to Robert Greenleaf's 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader.In that essay he wrote:  The servant...

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As a terrible, life-taking storm raged across the eastern half of the United States this week, it's a good bet that a lot of leaders were giving orders -- and a lot more followers were quickly responding to them. By their nature, emergencies are not resolved by a lot of process. In times of crisis, every healthy organization needs to know how to behave as an autocracy. Ordinarily, effective leaders are trying to plant and grow processes for effective decision-making throughout their organizations. But true emergencies call for extraordinary responses from leaders and followers alike. Perhaps the best example i...

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By Dr. Owen Phelps Director, Yeshua Institute “Go and preach the Gospel. And if you must, use words.”- St. Francis of Assisi to his followers One of the foundational principles of the Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus is that “our actions speak louder than words.” In my book by the same name, we take up this issue almost immediately, noting that anyone who is known to be Christian participates in building the “Christian brand.” That may sound like modern business-speak, but actually it comes from the Third Century priest and theologian Tertullian, who noted that the behavior ...

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Evangelization - we can't opt out

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

There are a few things in life where we really don't have any choice. One is communications. We cannot choose to "not communicate" and think that's the end of our interaction with someone. When we shut up, people ascribe meaning to our silence. As my wife told me once, "You're giving me the silent treatment." And yes, I guess I was. Another is leadership. It's not a task that we can pick up or put down when we choose. Intentional leadership occurs whenever anyone influences anyone else. But unintentional leadership occurs all the time too -- and sometimes it is more power...

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Good leaders learn from their followers -- which is just one more reason why good leaders try to hire the very best people they can find and then give those people plenty of opportunities to continue learning. Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School's Center for Digital Business and author of Serious Play tells the story of Sir Clive Woodward, coach of England's world champion rugby team several years ago. As part of their preparation, he bought each player a laptop computer and told them to become world-class IT users. Their specific assignment was to find new and better ways to improve...

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