CareoftheSoulforEffe ctiveLeadership

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Information about CareoftheSoulforEffe ctiveLeadership

Published on February 5, 2008

Author: Sigfrid


Care of the Soul for Effective Leadership:  Care of the Soul for Effective Leadership Copyright © 2002 Dr. Rodney H. Clarken Director of Field Experiences and Professor School of Education Northern Michigan University Soul: What is it?:  Soul: What is it? soul (sol), n. 1. The animating and vital principle in humankind credited with the faculties of thought, action and emotion and conceived as forming an immaterial entity distinguished from but temporally coexistent with the body. An animating and vital principle:  An animating and vital principle The soul of man is the sun by which his body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance, and should be so regarded. (Baha’u’llah) The temple of man is like unto a mirror, his soul is as the sun, and his mental faculties even as the rays that emanate from that source of light. (Abdu’l-Baha) Faculties of thought, action and emotion :  Faculties of thought, action and emotion Thought: Knowing (Mind) Seeing Truth Action: Creating (Will) Doing Justice Emotion: Loving (Heart) Feeling Unity An immaterial entity:  An immaterial entity Immaterial, therefore spiritual. spir•it•u•al (spir"i ch» *l), adj. 1. Of, pertaining to, consisting of or having the nature of spirit or a spirit; not tangible or material. A sign of God, a mystery no mind can unravel. Not a physical creation, not composed of elements, indivisible; therefore eternal. Coexistent with the body:  Coexistent with the body The soul is “distinguished from but temporally coexistent with the body.” It lives on when the body dies and is our true identity and reality. The body is like a horse; soul is like the rider. The body should be cared for, but it is not who we are. It is a vehicle for the soul. It can not bring us true happiness. Leadership: What is it?:  Leadership: What is it? lead•er•ship (le"d*r ship'), n. 3. The capacity to be a leader; ability to lead. lead•er (le"d*r), n. 1. A person who leads others along a way; a guide. lead (led), v.,1. a. To show the way by going in advance; conduct, escort or direct. b. or by setting an example. Capacities for effective leadership, 1-4:  Capacities for effective leadership, 1-4 1. to maintain a clear perception of social reality and of the forces involved; 2. to properly assess the resources of the community; 3. to consult freely and harmoniously as a body and with one’s constituency; 4. to realize that every decision has both a material and spiritual dimension; Capacities for effective leadership, 5-7:  Capacities for effective leadership, 5-7 5. to arrive at decisions in a manner that preserves and promotes institutional unity; 6. to win the confidence, respect and genuine support of those affected by these decisions; 7. to effectively use the energies and diverse talents of the members of the community served; Capacities for effective leadership, 8-10:  Capacities for effective leadership, 8-10 8. to integrate the diversity of initiatives, individuals and groups into one forward movement that benefits all; 9. to uphold standards of fairness and equity; 10. to implement decisions with an openness and flexibility that avoid all traces of dictatorial behavior. (BIC) Qualities of effective leaders:  Qualities of effective leaders Effect and manage change. Respond creatively to challenges. Detachment. Integrity. Independence of spirit. Complete consecration and sanctity of purpose. Rewards of effective leadership:  Rewards of effective leadership Helping insure the progress and welfare of others. Dispensing justice. Having a clear conscience and a sincere intent. Developing excellent character, high resolve, breadth of learning, and ability to solve difficult problems. Other factors affecting effective leadership:  Other factors affecting effective leadership Besides the quality of leadership, discussed above; there are two: 1. The characteristics of the governed, 2. The nature of the structures and processes employed to exercise authority and meet human needs. Characteristics of the governed:  Characteristics of the governed Fundamental redefinition of all human relationships: recast power and authority. Basic reconceptualization of social reality: recognize the oneness of humankind. Basic human rights guaranteed: justice, education, welfare, unity, peace. Nature of the structures and processes:  Nature of the structures and processes Administrative procedures and legal safeguards are important, but will not bring about enduring changes in individual and institutional behavior. Need unified, peaceful and just structures and processes animated by moral principle. Leadership today:  Leadership today Totalitarian systems of past have been replaced by a new ideology: liberal relativism and capitalism. Western civilization and leadership produced benefits, but now morally and intellectually bankrupt, impotent to deal with today’s needs. We see “unbridled exploitation of the masses of humanity by greed that excuses itself as the operation of ‘impersonal market forces’”. (UHJ) Leadership’s challenge:  Leadership’s challenge To challenge, not embrace, the gross self indulgence and dogmatic materialism in society. To remedy, not justify and excuse, the inequities and injustices that exist in the world. To address, not neglect or ignore, the spiritual issues associated with leadership. To challenge, not accept, inherited assumptions and preferences that are irreconcilable with this age. Leadership and the soul:  Leadership and the soul Leaders are often seen as seeking pride, power and prestige, things contrary to caring for the soul and spiritual progress. Leadership is a moral and spiritual practice whose compass is found within the soul. Only as the souls of leaders are transformed will the they and their communities prosper. The soul and change:  The soul and change Meaningful social change results as much from the development of qualities and attitudes that foster constructive patterns of human interaction as from the acquisition of technical capacities. True prosperity--a well-being founded on peace, cooperation, altruism, dignity, rectitude of conduct and justice--flows from the light of spiritual awareness and virtue as well as from material discovery and progress. (BIC) Why care for the soul?:  Why care for the soul? A deepening moral disorientation threatens social institutions and the fundamental bonds that define human relations. The displacement of a transcendent understanding of life by an ascendant materialism is responsible for the skepticism, alienation and anomie that characterize contemporary existence. (BIC 5/01) The spirit of the age:  The spirit of the age The spirit of the age is materialistic, not spiritual. There is a mistaken belief that we cannot be both spiritual and scientific, logical and practical. People are so immersed in materialism that they do not acknowledge or take care of their souls. Distress and disillusionment with the prevailing conditions of the age. The soul and happiness:  The soul and happiness No satisfactory answer that ignores the soul has been given to how to be happy, though many have been and are being tried. Acquiring spiritual excellence is the path to true happiness. The chief reason for unhappiness and the problems rampant in society is lack of spirituality. Happiness is a byproduct of caring for the soul. How to care for the soul?:  How to care for the soul? Like our physical reality, there are spiritual rules and laws we must follow if we are to be happy and healthy. Care of soul is like care of the body. Both: need nutrients, exercise and certain conditions for healthy development; have commonalities with others, but each is unique; require a lifelong and daily process to develop and maintain; and go through developmental stages. Some guidelines:  Some guidelines We must cultivate our sense of morality and spirituality, mainly through prayer, meditation, reading, service and integrity. Individual responsibility and initiative needed. Consistency and regularity needed to feed and exercise the soul. Not easy - no pain, no gain. Gradual process-little by little, day by day. Soul Care Program: PRISM:  Soul Care Program: PRISM Prayer Reading Integrity Service Meditation Prayer: What is it?:  Prayer: What is it? Supplication, spiritual communion or conversation with higher power or object of worship. Like rain pouring down on plant. To strengthen and make us better. Highest prayer is for the love and will of a transcendent Spirit. Lowest prayer is for our own selfish love and will. Why pray?:  Why pray? If we love someone or something, it is natural to wish to express it. Absolutely indispensable to inner spiritual development - cultivates a sense of spirituality. Draws us nearer to and causes a connection and association with Higher Power. If the prayer is in accord with divine wisdom, it will be answered. How to Pray?:  How to Pray? Best to pray in private and free from care. With a PHD: Pure-Hearted Devotion or Purity, Humility & Detachment. Combine with love, meditation, thought, and action. Direct prayers to the Great Spirit, a prophet, a higher self or power. Meditation: What is it?:  Meditation: What is it? Prayer is talking to a higher power; meditation is listening to it. Speaking with our own spirit, higher self. Like a mirror, reflects what it is turned to. Purifying the mirror of soul from defects. Pondering in our hearts the sacred scriptures and tasting their sweetness. Why meditate?:  Why meditate? To understand more deeply, fulfill more faithfully and convey more accurately truth. To be in touch with our inner selves. To polish the mirrors of our hearts and minds to better reflect true love and understanding. For inspiration and knowledge about unknowns, sciences, arts and inventions. For inner development, contentment and happiness. How to meditate?:  How to meditate? No set form. Requires effort, not hours. Use personal latitude to find own level of comfort and communion. Guard against ego, idle fancies, vain imaginations, superstitious or foolish ideas creeping in. Turn away from world/material/body. How to meditate?:  How to meditate? Still physical senses (seeing, hearing, speaking) so can attain insight. Contemplate in silence, separated from things, people and world so can hear inner voice/higher power. Use sacred scripture or divine verses. Do daily, but do not overdo. Reading: What is it?:  Reading: What is it? Regular reading of the sacred scriptures and holy books to apprehend their meaning and unravel their innermost mysteries. Read the divine writings of the great teachers like Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed and Baha'u'llah for insight and inspiration. Why read?:  Why read? To be endowed with new life, understanding and ability: to feel, see and act to our full potential. To open the hearts, which in reality are the doors of heaven. To discover truth and solve problems. To be faithful to the Covenant of God and of service to humanity. How to read?:  How to read? Systematically study using scientific and rational methods, free of prejudice and blind imitation. With reverence, attention and thought. With purity of heart, chastity of soul and freedom of spirit. Daily: every morning and evening. Service: What is it?:  Service: What is it? The action of helping others (Dictionary). Prayer, meditation and reading are like food; service is like exercise. They go together. Service is a form of prayer and worship. Noblest deed, greatest blessing and highest righteousness. Why serve? :  Why serve? The effects of prayer, meditation and reading are not significant unless translated into service. It is essential to our personal welfare and spiritual growth. It is a magnet that brings success and confirmations. Service to humanity is service to God. How to serve?:  How to serve? Expand our service from serving self, to serving our family, then to community and finally to humanity; guided by a higher power, purpose or cause. Selflessly serve in your trade or profession; treat it as worship. With love, pure motives and excellence, to the best of our ability for the greatest good. Integrity: What is it?:  Integrity: What is it? Strict adherence to a code of moral values (Dictionary). Honor, probity, uprightness, wholeness, completeness, oneness (Thesaurus). Abiding by spiritual laws and principles. Like physical laws, they are essential for well-being and happiness. Truthfulness and love are the foundation of integrity. Why integrity?:  Why integrity? To bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the spiritual teachings. To increase our love for, knowledge of and nearness to God. To achieve greater understanding, meaning, fulfillment, purpose, happiness, joy, power, love, purity, radiance and efficiency of character. How to practice integrity?:  How to practice integrity? Try focusing on one virtue at first and try to integrate it into your daily life. Day by day, little by little. Make a daily accounting of your progress. Purify your heart and motives. Abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation. Do not look to society or people for the standard of integrity - seek a more noble and healthy goal. How to practice integrity?:  How to practice integrity? Turn every stumbling block into a stepping stone. Make problems and overcoming tests a means for improving character, spiritual development and happiness. Avoid backbiting. It is the worst human quality. Do not dwell on the faults and failings of others; instead discover and root out our own. Qualities of Leadership:  Qualities of Leadership Unity Truthfulness Trustworthiness Forbearance Kindliness Service Wisdom Purity Righteousness Justice Courtesy Detachment Selflessness Generosity Humility Compassion Slide44:  Truthfulness Unity Trustworthiness Forbearance Kindliness Service Wisdom Purity Righteousness Justice Courtesy Detachment Selflessness Generosity Humility Compassion CREATING LOVING KNOWING “Growing Leadership” Care/Improvement Program:  Care/Improvement Program Set goals that are short-term, defined, achievable, measurable and rewardable. Seek support--associate with people who support your goals and are like minded. Make daily effort. Progress little by little, day by day. Monitor and adjust development. Have vision and faith. References:  References Many of the ideas in this presentation were inspired or taken from various Baha’i writings. Baha'i International Community (BIC). (May, 2001). Overcoming Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity in Public Institutions: A Baha’i Perspective. Paper presented at the United Nations Global Forum to Fight Corruption II, Hague, Netherlands. Universal House of Justice (UHJ). (2001). Century of Light. Baha’i World Center, Haifa, Israel. NMU on effective leadership:  NMU on effective leadership Northern Michigan University Proposed Mission Statement: Students will develop skills and leadership abilities that allow them to facilitate social change, develop ethical and moral standards, develop a vision related to their career directions and community responsibilities, practice creativity and flexibility in order to adapt to change, commit themselves to the collaborative good of a multicultural society, and inspire others through empowerment. Bahá’í model:  Bahá’í model Trusteeship and trustworthiness expected. Cooperative decision-making. Assign organizational responsibility for community affairs to freely elected governing councils at the local, national, and international levels. Decision-making at the lowest practicable level. Bahá’í Model (cont.):  Bahá’í Model (cont.) Leadership not based on personal ambition, but rather on character, recognized ability, mature experience and a commitment to service. Does not allow the imposition of the arbitrary will or leadership of individuals and abuse of power or authority. Decision-making authority rests with corporate bodies. Requires humility as involved in a learning process. (BIC) Closing Thoughts: Quotes from Baha’u’llah:  Closing Thoughts: Quotes from Baha’u’llah "Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation, cleanse it for My manifestation.“ “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds.” "True life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit."

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