Lenten Leaders: Patience & Dedication In Leadership

Week 5: The fourth week of Lent
By Sr. Ellen Doyle, OSU
Leadership Consultant

"He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry."

It doesn't take long for Lenten commitments to fall by the wayside for many of us.  The discipline we choose on Ash Wednesday may by now be a distant memory or even tucked away for "next year".  But Jesus kept his fast, for forty days and forty nights.  He was clear and committed to beginning his public ministry grounded in his relationship with his Father, a vision more important than anything else.  Even hunger.

At Catholic Leadership Institute, we believe that leadership is a discipline that has a cost.  It challenges us to prayerfully, consciously discern what is most important and then to dedicate ourselves to making it a priority in our daily lives.  In order to faithfully accomplish what is important, we need to be prepared to say "no" to what is a distraction, to what is less important, and to what might tempt us as a "necessary" comfort.  And to be patient with ourselves when we lose our focus, without losing our way completely.  What is most important to me at this time in my ministry?  What do I need to do to be faithful to that vision with dedication and patience?  

Leadership Tips:
  • Clarify your vision of what is important in your role, in leading other individuals, teams or organizations.  Ground your vision in God's vision.  Write the vision down.
  • Say "no" to what may interfere with that important vision. Ask for Jesus' help in being firm in your "no", as he was.
  • Every day, do one thing to support your vision, something that is important but not urgent.  If you miss a day, recommit to it the next day, with dedication and patience.  Aim to do this leadership practice for 40 days in a row.