Reframing Leadership

Reframing Leadership

June 10, 2019—What does it take to be an effective leader? That’s a complex and perennial question that has spawned countless books, lectures, seminars, courses, and workshops (and countless moments of personal self-doubt on the part of anyone in the…

The Theory of Hype

June 3, 2019—Cleaning out some files I came across a listing of businesses for which I had done consultations some years ago. The list was from the early nineties when I was doing more consultations with businesses and corporations than…

How One Person Learned to Deal With Triangles

April 22, 2019—Being a caring person who was “trained” in her family of origin to be the “fixer” or intermediary when family spats happened, Rebecca was naturally drawn to entering trianglesinvited or not. Early on it was a comfortable role…

When the Honeymoon is Over

April 8, 2019—Beginning a ministry at a new church is an exciting experience. New challenges, a fresh start, promising possibilities, new relationships, can all be energizing. For most clergy, the first year at a new church is filled with excitement…

Ten Leadership Quotes from Edwin Friedman

March 11, 2019—Few have helped re-frame the understanding of leadership in organizations within this generation as has Edwin Friedman. Expanding Bowen Family Systems Theory from its clinical therapeutic context to the contexts of religious institutions and organizations, Friedman’s writings have…

Ten Toxic Leadership Types

February 25, 2019—The measure of successful leadership is how well a group performs, over time, in terms of valued outcomes, or the realization of its mission. Benjamin J. Inyang considers leadership as process which “involves the use of non-coercive influence…

Why Leaders Fail

February 11, 2019—Decades of leadership studies have produced well over 50,000 books with ‘leadership’ in their title but almost none on leadership failure. Adrian Furman called this “the elephant in the boardroom.”(1) Furnham noted that “more leaders fail and derail…

Your Congregation Is Not Your Family

January 7, 2019—The fact is that, despite the warm metaphor we commonly use, a congregation is not a family. A congregation is a localized, institutionalized expression of a larger social system: the organized religious system.1 The relationship clergy have with…

Effective Leaders Focus on Process

December 31, 2018—Effective congregational leaders know the difference between content and process—and they focus on process rather than content. Content has to do with what people say, while process has to do with how people function. Beliefs, doctrines, mission statements,…

A Leader’s Responsibility

December 17, 2018—One major trap for clergy leaders is the demand for them to take responsibility for things that rightly are not theirs. This is exacerbated by the propensity of pastors to accept that demand. After all, they are in…

The Burnout Cycle

November 19, 2018—During a recent conversation with a new clergy friend, he shared his experience of burnout. After five years at his previous church he’d not taken a vacation. Weariness led to seriousness, then a neglect of self-care, then a…

The “Window of Tolerance”: A Tool For Self-Regulation

October 1, 2018—Psychiatrist Dan Siegel developed a model called the “Window of Tolerance” in 1999 to describe an area in which each person is able to maintain emotional regulation, think clearly, and function effectively. Each person has their own window…

Size Mattters, But Not Like You May Think

September 24, 2018—One common and practical schema used to understand congregations is the congregational size approach to classifying churches. Looking at congregations through this lens is used not only by denominational strategists in assessing and planning, but also by sociologists…

When We Can’t Take Our Own Advice

September 17, 2018—We’ve all done it; we have all recommended that a church member, client, or patient take advice that we ourselves find hard to follow. We advise them to establish healthy boundaries with family members, to maintain self-care plans,…

Church Conflict Can Take On A Life Of Its Own

July 23, 2018—Chris Hedges states that after a period of time, war begins to develop its own life. The former theology student turned journalist wrote in his book, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, that those involved…

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