Your Advice Isn’t Helping

Your Advice Isn’t Helping

Some time ago someone sent me an e-mail asking for advice on a matter.

I wrote back saying, “I don’t give advice,” though I did provide some resources related to the question.

Later, this person asked me to explain what…

The Balancing Act

When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to play in a woodwind quintet for a wedding. It turned out to be a highlight of my musical experiencemy clarinet joining in with the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn.

Each…

Post-COVID Prognostication

The Post-Covid impact on congregations, and their responses, is a topic of much discussion these days.

There is lots of pondering, articles—popular and scholarly—guesses, prognostication, and no lack of angst on that topic.

Prognostication is not my spiritual gift, and…

The hardest lesson I’m grateful I learned: letting go 

The title “The hardest lesson I’m grateful I learned: letting go” is a bit of a misnomer.

I am in a years-long process of learning to let go.

As the oldest daughter, of an oldest daughter, (who was a minister’s…

Losing a Job, Finding a Calling

“Do you think you can find a new job in six months?” asked the committee chairperson.

I had just sat down on the parlor sofa for the annual personnel review, the one the senior pastor had always dismissed.

But there…

Self defeating behaviors in leaders

On any given day we may read about a leader, in corporations, government, business, or religious institutions, who has lost a job, prestige, reputation, or respect due to self-defeating behavior.

A common first response upon reading these instances is, “What…

Five Common Responses to Anxiety

Bowen systems theory helps us understand relationship dynamics universal to relationship systems, from families to corporations, to churches. Systems theory identifies four common responses when it comes to how we handle anxiety. Here’s an example.

 

Agnes is an anxious…

Leading from the Right Side of the Brain

I’ve been a lifelong doodler. At times doodles have turned into sketches and sketches into drawings. This graphite drawing of a sharecropper titled “Toil,” done several years ago, started as a doodle which eventually became a favorite rendering, which today…

Toil

Ministry in an Age of Incivility

One insight from participants in our Pastoral Excellence Program is that ministry is hard and getting harder. One particularly troublesome challenge clergy tell us they face is an increase in incivility, not only in the culture,…

Leadership in Ministry Faculty Coaches Marcuson and Josund Share Insights About Clergy Responses to COVID-19 Part 2

When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders caused our spring Leadership in Ministry (LIM) sessions to close, our seventeen faculty members quickly strategized. The spring coaching groups are meeting virtually. We asked faculty coaches from the Portland workshop, Margaret Marcuson (MM) and…

On ANTS and Your Mental Health

Mental health has become a big issue because of our social isolation. It is like having ants in your home! How many are there? Where are they coming from? Where have they been? How can I get rid of them?…

Leadership in Ministry Faculty Coaches Lamkin and Maccini Share Insights About Clergy Responses to COVID-19 Part 1

When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders caused our spring Leadership in Ministry (LIM) sites to close, our seventeen faculty members quickly strategized. The spring coaching groups are meeting virtually. We asked faculty coaches James Lamkin (JL) Atlanta faculty and Rebecca Maccini…

Managing Stress: A Bowenian Perspective

In the last several months, the world has been touched by coronavirus.

It has quickly evolved into a global pandemic.

This unexpected force has relentlessly disrupted the flow of commerce, changed the shape of education, revealed the inadequacies of our…

Creativity Blockers in Organizations

Einstein is quoted as having said that imagination is more important than knowledge. That’s truer now than ever as organizations face challenges in a liminal age. New unprecedented problems require new answers, for which there is no data. Many “best…

Physics for Leaders

A friend of mine, one year into his leadership role, asked in frustration, “Why is this work so hard?!” I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. Some jobs are just more challenging due to the complexity of…

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