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.
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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.
My favorite story of the discovery of the complexity of relationships comes from an experience I had with my grandson, Ben when he was 5 years old. After spending the morning fishing together at a local farm pond he asked if we could stop at the Dairy Queen for ice cream on the way home. Being a typical over indulgent grandparent, I decided it was a great idea, even though it was less than an hour before lunch.
Integrity is the cornerstone of all human relationships. Integrity is also the central ingredient in trust, honesty, credibility, self-control, courage, and a host of other virtues that we ascribe to great leaders. The absence of integrity is a fatal leadership weakness. But if integrity is such an essential element in human relationships and the behavior and attitudes of leaders, why does it seem to be lacking in so many situations in modern life?