What Do You Think About Leadership?

Could you sum up your thoughts on leadership? I was asked to do that this week as part of a panel discussion at the Healthy Congregations Here are some of the initial thoughts I jotted down and shared:

If it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s darned cloudy in the pews.

Leadership is taking as much responsibility as we can for ourselves and our functioning, both in terms of our clarity about where we are heading as a leader, and how we relate to those we are leading. This is never easy; it’s ongoing hard work. It is both immensely challenging and immensely satisfying.

The thing about leadership also is that you never really get away with it. Homeostasis, or balance within systems is very strong. When we can be humble about our ability to impact the system, and do our best to be present within it with as much clarity and integrity as possible, we’ll do better.

Sometimes we can make choices about where and when we lead, and sometimes we can’t. We can’t change families, for example. We are stuck with them. And if we change to another congregation or position, we have to remember that we take ourselves with us, or as Jon Kabat-Zinn put it in the title of one of his books: Wherever You Go, There You Are.

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