Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leadership Patterns have Roots

I read a great quote the other day from Parker Palmer. He said, “A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside him or herself, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership create more harm than good.”

When I spend time thinking about this quote I quickly concur that the act of leading oneself is far more demanding than leading an organization or any group of people. If I fail to look inward, evaluating my own habits and ways, I will have moments of uncontrolled outburst in front of those I lead that are rarely rooted in the present, but in the past, in some recess of my sub-conscience.

Ruth Haley Barton puts it well in her book called Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. She says, “Part of the reason that leadership is crucible is that if we stick with it past the initial euphoria, the demands of long-term leadership usually push us to a place where our patterns are clearly revealed. The demands of ministry (or other), keep our face pressed up against the mirror until we are able to acknowledge the hidden dynamics that are driving us.”

What has been your experience in connecting the dots between your leadership behaviors today and your past experiences that helped form you, be that good and bad?


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