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Madre María de Jesús
  • “La cantidad de gente que viene aquí es algo increíble. Hay que verlo para creerlo y esto no hace sino crecer y embellecer” (SC 56)
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Uganda Kenya Congo region - Regional retreat on servant leadership
 
24/02/2014

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From 27th to 31st January 2014

Siters from all communities in the region gathered together in Entebbe for a one week retreat/workshop on the above mentioned topic. The first day we began with Mass, then after breakfast, we began the day’s session with a prayer. The regional superior Sr. Annette Namugambe presented to us the time table of the workshop as well as introducing the facilitator Mr. Otsieno Andrew from Nairobi - Kenya. Andrew gave the introduction and the outline of the workshop consisting 3 units.
The purpose of the retreat was to help us know how we can build our communities and live our shared life fully following the example of Jesus’ leadership. And also how we can serve others in the different ministries we have as a congregation. The retreat explored different concepts of leadership through examining underlying assumptions, grasping the extent to which the leadership styles vary from one person to another depending upon the background and dominant temperaments that classifies different types of leaders, learning the difference between legitimate power as opposed to controlling power, including a selection of community building practices.
The objective of the workshop was to provide an educational experience which results in a qualitative change in a leader’s life, relationships and leadership practices.

UNIT: 1
SERVANT LEADERSHIP - Oh Lord, can I be a leader?
This unit was covered on the first day and the second day.  The facilitator guided us to through an exercise of exploring different concepts of leadership by examining the underlying assumptions. We contrasted prevailing concepts of leadership as exemplified by Jesus Christ, the model of servant leadership (washing of the feet, John 13:4-15). Each one evaluated her personal concepts of leadership in the concept of servanthood while identifying areas where changes are most needed in one’s understanding and practice of leadership.

UNIT: 2
LEADER - Know thy self.
With Andrew’s help we grasped the extent to which leadership styles vary from one person to another depending upon people’s background, temperament and culture. Each one analyzed her own personal style in working with others, identifying patterns of strength and clarifying areas, in which she can cause tension for others, develop ability to access their styles of as they interact and work with her, while focusing on potential sources of conflict. And developing sensitivity to ways in which our leadership style must be varied in order to achieve optimum results with those who differ from us.

UNIT: 3
On the fourth and fifth day, the facilitator guided us in learning the differences between legitimate power (empowering others) as opposed to dominating power and controlling power.
He clarified the essence of servant leadership in the context of power motivation.  He helped us to understand the ways in which power has dominancy and control as expressed by people of different temperaments and the impacts it can have on organizational effectiveness.  This can be achieved by developing skills of diagnosing organizational symptoms of controlling power in an organizational context and the primary root cause. 
We carried out an exercise of examining power in our own life at personal level through discernment of the effects of power motivation and we looked at the steps of breaking power addiction on one’s life as a Christian leader. 
The facilitator explained how power is handled in four different temperaments or behavioral styles (the demon within) as follows:

Designer needs to be in command
–will use power to dominate
Motivator needs to be liked and to be influential
– does this by manipulation, persuasion - can follow blindly
Team player hates conflict
–will allow nobody to voice dissent at all
•Implementer wants everything done the way they want it to be done
– will dig in and try to control things to make it happen perfectly

 Power follows certain principles...

Power accumulates. The more a leaders gets, the more will come to her.
The powerful rise only to fall. The higher a leader climbs, the more inevitable is her downfall.
Power corrupts. Leaders who start out to do good wind up doing evil.
Power is exceptional. The ordinary person willingly or unwillingly surrenders her power to a handful of power seekers and is left with none for herself.
Leading from the soul means reversing the ways power is misused.

Reversing the ways power is misused...

Power accumulates. To reverse this principle, renounce personal power for transpersonal power.
The powerful rise only to fall. To reverse this principle, ground yourself in being; your sole purpose will be to watch your vision unfold – a path of expansion not rising.
Power corrupts. To reverse this principle, learn from your shadow and turn its negative influence into something positive.
Power is exceptional. To reverse this principle, empower others by showing them that they are equal to you in their own way...

In conclusion, to be servant leaders following the model of Jesus Christ, we need total denial: this makes us positionless and possessionless – you cannot take something from someone who has nothing!