8 Faces of Leadership

One of The Reid Group’s leadership formation programs is an approach we call 8 Faces of Leadership.

8-Faces-of-Leadership-Approach-GraphicwebYou as a Spiritual Leader
Bill Grace, former executive director of the Center for Ethical Leadership in Seattle, wrote a monograph, “Spirituality of Leadership,” in which he shares some characteristics of a spirituality of leadership:

  • The spirituality of leadership invites us to center our lives on God.  It is about aligning our lives with the Divine sources of energy that are intending this world to become a place of justice and love.  As leaders, we are asked to be of service to this Divine intention.  As servants, through listening, humility, obedience, discernment, service, work and celebration, we experience the paradoxical freedom from what is and become the shapers of what might be.
  • The key habits and virtues essential to a spirituality of leadership:  Listening, Humility, Obedience, Discernment, Service, Work, Celebration.

You as an Organizational Leader
When focusing on You as an Organizational Leader, it is important to think of the organizations that you care about as living, breathing, growing, struggling realities–just like you.  Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, says that the healthiest organizations are those that are most open to learning and new insights.  Here are five questions you can ask yourself to learn more about your organization:

  1. How well do you and your colleagues know and try to live out the organization’s mission and values?
  2. Describe the “pace” of your organization.  Is it a pace that is most conducive to people’s success?
  3. What happens in the organization when people/departments are struggling?  Does anyone notice?  What support is offered to get them back on track?
  4. How well does the organization deal with conflict?  What is one step you can take to help it be more effective?
  5. How well does the organization deal with change? What is something you can do to help it deal more effectively with change?

You as a Leader in Tough Times
In The Reid Group, we believe several things about conflict: 1) Conflict is as natural as breathing and is positive when well-managed but negative when poorly-managed; 2) Not all conflicts can be resolved but all conflicts can be managed well.

Some keys to managing conflict well:

  • Practice deep listening–to your own needs in the conflict as well as the needs of the other.
  • Focus on the positions held by the parties involved rather than the person or your past history.
  • Look for the “third way” or common ground.
  • Move from certainty to curiosity and from blame to contribution regarding the conflict.
  • Seek a win-win outcome or a viable option for settling the conflict that all parties can live with.

Those leaders that can act as effective conflict managers make positive contributions to their organizations.

You as a Leader in Changing Times
Dealing with change is never easy.  When it is managed well by leaders, change can allow for greater morale among the organization’s members, an increased focus on its mission and values, and brings unity in the face of diversity.

Effective leaders in changing times work to unite organizations in the midst of change, lessen resistance to change by deep listening, and encourage those affected to act together in ways that strengthen the organization and focus on the future.   We believe leaders serve organizations well when they focus on creative and effective conflict and change management.

You as an Ethical Leader
An ethical approach to leadership is essential for the credibility and effectiveness of leaders today in business, politics and religious circles.  As Richard Gula, SS has pointed out, “Professional ethics has to do with the moral character and the sum of obligations that pertain to the practice of a profession.”

One’s moral character and capacity to fulfill professional obligations well demand a consistent and ethical approach.  Some dimensions to ethical leadership include:

  • The necessary competence to fulfill responsibilities
  • A focus on the common good and service to the needs of one’s constituency
  • Using “power with” and “power for” rather than “power over” or dominating power
  • Practicing good self-care
  • Being accountable and transparent in relationships

You as a Collaborative Leader
Collaboration is an approach that focuses on bringing gifts together for a common mission.  Collaborative leaders do more “we” thinking, gathering the wisdom of colleagues, than “Lone Ranger” thinking.  Collaboration also focuses on building trust and respect in work groups and emphasizing cooperation more than competition.

You as a Pastoral Leader
Pastoral leadership requires the ability to look at the whole reality of an organization rather than just its parts.  It also requires a commitment to help people be their best selves in the workplace and to contribute what they can for the greater good.