How My Faith Has Shaped My Leadership

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I’m not one to stand on a soap box.  I’m passionate about my Catholic faith, but I don’t feel a need to confront others with it.  St. Francis is quoted as saying, “Preach the Gospel, and when necessary use words.”

I try to live my life in a way that is consistent with my beliefs and allow my actions to speak for who I am.  I’m not out to convert anyone.  I’m out to live in a way that is consistent with what I believe.

This consistency of character is integrity.  Do what you say and say what you do.

Regardless, there are several ways in which my Catholic faith has shaped the way I live, but two in particular stick out to me as having shaped who I am as a leader.

  1. I believe strongly in the dignity of every human person and this greatly impacts my management and leadership styles.
  2. I believe that my leadership position has been given to me for a purpose and I treat it as a great responsibility, not a right or privilege.

These two principles have helped to mold my leadership style.

I respect and desire the input of those who surround me.

I am convinced that two heads are better than one.  That together a team can make a better and more informed decision than any single person.

I have no problem making decisions, but I’d prefer to reach a consensus.  Because of my personality, I am continually collecting data points, connecting dots, and processing their meaning, but I am intentional about collecting data points from other people.  I ask a lot of questions.  I facilitate a lot of discussions.  And then we act.

Of course, in times of crisis or dramatic change, a stronger leadership style is required.  I’ll make the tough decision and act quickly when required, but have found that, more often than not, crafting a decision that includes input from the team is much more powerful.

I am purpose-driven.

I believe that all people, not just myself, want to be part of something greater than themselves.  I believe that having a clear purpose, a reason why, is central to leading and inspiring others.  The team needs to believe in something greater than themselves.  A good in and of itself.

As a leader I find it it is important to help find that purpose.  A purpose everyone can believe in. It must be kept front and center.

My faith is a part of who I am, and yes, it bleeds over into how I live and how I lead.  A leader who claims his faith (or lack thereof) does not impact how he or she leads, is fooling themselves, and fooling you. It’s impossible for something you truly believe to not permeate your entire life.