Of all of the virtues associated with leadership, humility is the most underappreciated. Books are written about courageous leaders throughout history. Great intellect is cited as essential for visionary leadership in uncertain times. Honesty and integrity, both fundamental to effective leadership, take center stage whenever there is an ethical collapse in the corporate, religious, and governmental arenas. Creativity and innovation are both exciting leadership characteristics that are highly desired. Stories of compassionate and sensitive leaders warm our hearts.
Like many other faith based not-for-profit senior care providers, creating a sense of community is a central feature of Presbyterian Senior Living’s mission. Our mission statement references creating “vibrant, compassionate and supportive communities” as the primary way we “promote wholeness of body, mind, and spirit.”
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As you might imagine, with the Presbyterian Senior Living Board announcement of my intended retirement in June of 2019, the subject of change has been on my mind.When I think of my history with Presbyterian Senior Living, I am immediately struck by how much things have changed over time.
One of the pillars of PSL’s Leadership culture is the principle of stewardship. At first glance it appears to have a mostly financial focus – The effective application of resources to achieve the mission of the organization. This is consistent with Webster’s definition of stewardship: “The conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
This year our family vacation took us to the Olympic National Park, an amazingly scenic place in the extreme upper northwest corner of Washington State. In addition to being an absolutely stunning place to visit, I was curious to see the town of Sequim, near Port Angeles, the birthplace of Olympic Rower Joe Rantz, the main character in classic Daniel James Brown book The Boys in the Boat (which was also the subject of a PBS special). An inspiring true story, sometimes referred to as “Chariots of Fire with oars”, it chronicles the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team.
In May of 2016 I wrote a reflection on Leadership and Hope, and how leaders cultivate hope in themselves and those around them in their daily work. Hope is an essential ingredient in leadership, because hopeless people generally lack the energy and purpose to inspire others to move together in a positive direction. Since that time I have been thinking a lot about optimism, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.