Fr. Nathan Cromly public
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The power of a leader is as much about your connection with your people as it is about your vision and your drive. People follow those who trust them and they trust those who show the character and the drive necessary not only to succeed but to succeed at doing what’s right. This is the difference that Christ makes. In this sixth and final episode …
 
Leaders are people of action. They are those who have the vision to know what they want to do, the intelligence to choose how to do it, and the dedication to carry the job through. It’s this last part that is a challenge for many. As soon as we begin the process of change, challenges will arise from every side. How do we form the heart and the driv…
 
There are many aspects about the Christian faith which we could find surprising. Not everything that God does is immediately self evident to us. But something that never ceases to amaze me is that God insists that we take action. Not only does he say, “Do not be afraid,” but He doesn’t let us off the hook. Leaders have to make decisions constantly …
 
Making decisions is one of the most important aspects of leadership. Our people count on us to make decisions and to make them well. And the decisions of a leader can jeopardize or bless the entire organization. But making choices is not something that comes easy. How do we know which of the many possible good things to choose from is the right one…
 
We all know that Christ makes a difference. But what difference does he make in leadership? Is there anything distinctively difference about the way Christians approach leadership with the way seculars approach leadership? What difference does Christ make? In this second of a six part series we examine the impact of Christ upon our creative energie…
 
While the demands of leadership are the same in every context, the way we approach leadership can be different. A Christian leader leads differently than his secular counterpart. From visioning an idea to implementing a strategy, through carrying out and executing a plan, a Christian leader simply leads, frankly, differently. In this first of a six…
 
Daring great things is where leadership begins but leadership ends in the hearts of those that follow us. Its not enough just to be doing things or doing them well, we have to do them in a way that other people can associate with and make it their own. How do I make my great accomplishments a legacy that other people can benefit from? We have to le…
 
Before we do anything it is important to stop and plan how we are going to do it. Afterall, failing to plan is planning to fail. Part of this planning includes looking at where we could actually falter along the way. And understanding the reasons we fail can become a big reason why we succeed. In this fourth talk of the series we look at one of the…
 
One of the most common struggles that people have is passing from planning into action. We all know what we should be doing, but actually doing it can seem an insurmountable hurdle. How do we pass from having good intentions to actually having good actions? Every leader has to do this. St. Thomas Aquinas gives us the key. He says the fear of risk c…
 
Without a doubt leadership is hard and challenging and sometimes we get so used to its challenge that we forget that we can make it successful. We learn to get used to the very things that can cause our downfall. But it doesn’t have to be this way. One of the big elements we struggle with as leaders is our ability to plan effectively - our ability …
 
Leaders want success. In fact, our people count on us to provide success. That’s why it’s important to know where we can fail. Being able to identify the pitfalls along our road is sometimes as important as knowing where we are going. In this series of five talks, we examine the five pitfalls that plague leaders and hinder our ability to succeed. T…
 
Most people acknowledge that humility is a good thing – something that we should desire. But most leaders struggle to find how humility can be incorporated into their leadership. Afterall, don’t we need to be assertive? Controlling? In Charge? It would seem that if I am a leader and I am humble that I am weak and incapable of providing the vision a…
 
We all know that leaders are responsible for getting things done, leading their organizations to be productive, but sometimes we forget that leadership also sometimes has a softer side and that a leader is just as responsible for the moral climate of his organization as he is for its efficiency. In St. Paul’s letter to Titus, Chapter 2, St. Paul ou…
 
One of the most intriguing figures in the New Testament is St. Paul. Most commentators spend their lives speaking of Paul’s theology and his relationship with Christ. But Paul was also a leader who left a legacy of leadership to his followers and one of his closest disciples was Titus. In Paul’s letter to Titus we find the heart of a leader speakin…
 
There are a lot of things in common between business leaders and mountain climbers. In the same way that mountain climbers dare heights by precipitous paths, so the business leader needs to walk a fine line. So many things need to be balanced at the moral level and inside of themselves in order to do what they do and do it at the service of Christ.…
 
In our work with the Catholic leader, one of the most sensitive subjects is whether or not they should make money. For some reason making a profit in our business has been associated with guilt and corruption. But is this association always accurate? Is it okay for a Catholic business leader to actually make a profit? And if they do make a profit w…
 
All of us engaged in business know the scenario: the people at the top have the answers, the people at the bottom have the wherewithal, the people at the top become frustrated that the people at the bottom don’t execute, and the people at the bottom become frustrated because the people at the top don’t listen. How do we reverse this paradigm? In 20…
 
The non-Christian world can paint a vision of capitalism wherein the owner or the boss rules over the workers – exacting from them the maximum of energies in the most efficient way possible for the maximum profit. Is this the vision that God has for our work? In its landmark document from 2011, the Catholic Church lays out six principles to guide b…
 
All of us are aware of the cliché that says that business somehow causes poverty or that capitalism and charity are opposed. This however is challenged by the document that the Vatican released in 2011 called “The Vocation Of The Catholic Business Leader.” This document issues six principles that are to guide every business leader in their vocation…
 
In 2011 the Vatican issued a guide for Catholic business leaders called The Vocation Of The Business Leader. This is an amazing document, because in 33 pages it summarizes the whole teaching of the Catholic Church about business but does so in a way that is helpful to the Catholic business leader to read in a short time. I want to go through that d…
 
There are many ways to define the secrets of success but Christians have their own definition. St. Paul lays it out clearly for us in his second letter to Timothy, chapter 4, where he speaks about the crown that is laid up for him in the Lord. Through all of his life and his many ups and downs, St. Paul witnesses that Jesus is faithful and has carr…
 
St. Paul is surely one of the most famous leaders listed in the entire Bible. His life reads like a passionate saga and is full of lessons for those of us, who being Christians, want to follow in his footsteps leading in our world. That’s why his second letter to Timothy is so important. It actually chronicles St. Paul’s final letter in the New Tes…
 
The second letter to St. Timothy is one of St. Paul’s most important letters. Written at the end of his life, St. Paul leaves a legacy in the heart of Timothy for how he sees good leadership. It remains for us an amazing example of God’s teaching for us on the power and truth of our own leadership and gives us valuable insights on what it means to …
 
Without a doubt the life of St. Paul is one of the best places to study leadership in The New Testament. Not only is his life an example of leadership, but in his first and second letters to Timothy St. Paul exposes his heart. He writes to his beloved son, Timothy, whom he has formed in the faith, a letter of encouragement to go all the way to the …
 
Let’s face it, leading other people is always hard. If we say the wrong thing in the wrong way, we can actually discourage the people we are supposed to encourage. On the other hand if we just tell them the truth like it is, we can leave them without any motivation. Speaking the word of truth correctly is the art and essence of good communication a…
 
The Bible has a lot to say about talking. The Letter of St. James, for example, says the tongue is the key to all virtue. The Lord Himself says that every idle word we’ll have to account for on the day of judgement. And all of us who manage people know the power of words to edify and destroy. But what is the value of silence? Is it possible to talk…
 
As anyone who has ever had to manage people can tell you, jealousy is one of the most dangerous passions to rule in the workplace. Where people are jealous division will ensue and teamwork will corrode. We who are in charge of our teams needs to watch for jealousy and ward against it. Pope St. Gregory The Great in his “Rule Of Shepherds” Book 3 giv…
 
Anyone who has had to manage any kind of organization – from a business to a family – know that patience is called for. But how do we build it up? How do we grow in our patience? How do we know when impatience actually could be a good thing? Pope St. Gregory The Great gives us wonderful insights in his tenth admonition in his third book “On The Rul…
 
Ask any organizational leader what the hardest part of their job is and they will all say the same thing: managing people. You cannot win at business without your people but your people can often be the reason why you lose at business. Becoming an excellent manager is an art and a skill as much as it is a natural talent. In Chapter 3 of his work, O…
 
The one who rules by fear will also fall by fear. This saying was never so true as in the life of King Saul. In this fourth and final episode of our commentary on Saul as an anti-leader, we see the end of his life. He ends his life in the same way that he led it: fearful, controlling, and inconsistent. Saul’s life is a wonderful pattern for us to a…
 
While seeing how leaders fail is never pleasant, it can also be very instructive. The rise and the fall of King Saul in the Bible presents us a good example of a life gone awry in authority. His jealousy over David is the most well known symptom but the cause of his downfall is rooted in something much deepers. Not only character flaws but a stubbo…
 
Most of us remember the life of King David in the Old Testament but few of us have ever studied the life of King Saul. Just as the life of King David is an example to us of great leadership, the life of King Saul can be seen as an example of what I call “Anti-Leadership.” In 1 Samuel 18 and 19, this anti leadership is on full display. Saul is not o…
 
When it comes to leadership, I think you can learn as much from bad leaders as from good ones. It is certainly the case in the life of King Saul. King Saul ruled over Israel for forty-two years, beginning when he was 30 years old and his life spanned in 1 Samuel 9 all the way to 1 Samuel 31. During his remarkable rule his faults become more and mor…
 
Anyone who has ever successfully led a project to its completion can readily attest to the fact that leadership is as much of a challenge from the inside as it is from the outside. Leaders not only have to adjust to changing circumstances and vicissitudes beyond their power, but leaders also have to play the mind game of being ready to pivot. Being…
 
Every Advent Christians are treated to readings from the Gospel which remind them to stay awake. In Luke chapter 21 Our Lord says, “Keep on the alert at all times.” Obviously Our Lord here is referring here to a spiritual alertness but it’s also something that we can apply in the world of business. To what degree does a leader need to stay awake at…
 
There’s an old adage in Christianity that God writes straight with crooked lines. The same can be said with many on their course to success. A good leader needs to know how to bend and when to bend. It’s like the old adage, “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” That ability to change course in the midst of a project we refer to as “pivoti…
 
We all know how important determination and effort is to succeed at what we do. After all a large portion of success is determined by our effort to get there. What can be overlooked in this process, however, is the nimbleness and agility of mind necessary in order to make the adaptations or even change course as needed on our pathway to success. Th…
 
The second book of Pope St. Gregory The Great’s “Rule For Shepherds” comes to a close by tackling one of the thorniest problems in the heart of a leader. Whom do we serve? On the one hand if we serve only God we run the risk of losing the people that we are called to lead. However, if we serve the people that we are called to lead we can sometimes …
 
Christian leaders have to face a constant dilemma. Belonging to Jesus Christ and at His Service their hearts are focused on heaven, and yet having to care for the things of this world their time and their mental capacity are dominated by the things that pass. How do we keep our souls alive and fresh in God when are time is spent with the anxieties …
 
Christians who lead faith’s many paradoxes – we are supposed to be humble and yet we have authority. We are supposed to be docile and yet we assert ourselves. We are supposed to be virtuous and yet we place ourselves in positions that are often tempting. Is it any wonder that so many people think Christians aren’t supposed to lead or so many Christ…
 
When you’re in charge you don’t have a cookie cutter method for guaranteeing you are doing what is right. You have to make decisions that are difficult and uncertain and you have to make them every day. Pope St. Gregory the Great understood this because he had to do the same thing every day. And in his book, “The Rule For Shepherds” he gives us ins…
 
Pope St. Gregory The Great has an enigmatic phrase at the beginning of Chapter 3 of his second book of his monumental work, “The Rule Of Shepherds.” He says, “A leader must be first in all of his actions.” Simply put this means a leader’s actions must be excellent, magnanimous, kingly. There’s an indication and an expectation that those who lead li…
 
Let’s face it , leadership is hard! As soon as we start to lead we encounter a whole host of sacrifices and challenges that we never had to face before. And yet for everything daunting about it, leadership also presents a unique blessing for us. By persevering through the challenges and continuing to do the mission Christ has given us, we grow in h…
 
Christian leaders have to do something difficult – we have to constantly balance asserting ourselves and using our talents and being humble before God. Errors can happen in both ways either by not asserting ourselves or by losing sight of the service we render to Jesus. St. Paul was not unaware of this challenge. In First Timothy 5 and 6 he shows S…
 
For anyone who has tried it is obvious that leadership is not easy. Besides skill and opportunity, a leader needs a tremendous amount of steadfastness and just plain grit. In St. Paul’s First Letter to St. Timothy, we see St. Paul encouraging St. Timothy with the full realization that what he has commanded Timothy to do will be hard. May the Word o…
 
Does God expect us to lead out of our strengths or out of our weaknesses? It seems like both are good options. In the First Letter of St. Paul to St. Timothy chapter 3 we read St. Timothy give us a list of the qualifications that God wants to see from his bishops and his deacons. Qualifications which could be applied to any of our positions of lead…
 
St. Paul the Apostle was an incredible leader in his own right. Before dying he left his legacy in writing both to St. Timothy and to St. Titus. In this second part of this series on his First Letter to St. Timothy we see Paul express the importance of leadership and the specific contribution to Christian leadership for everyone in the world. As Pa…
 
Sacred scripture is replete with references to leadership. And the wisdom of the Saints such as St. Paul can have great impact for the leaders of today. What does St. Paul leave behind him? In this series on the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy I want to examine the lessons in leadership that Paul bequeaths to his young follower. In chapter one …
 
Even though written fifteen hundred years ago, Pope St. Gregory The Great’s landmark treatise on the rule of shepherds continues to provide valuable insight to us today on what it means to lead. Notably he says that leaders have to be virtuous. Why is this? What’s the role of virtue in leadership? This last class in this series closes out our treat…
 
Leaders know that they’re talented. You know that you have gifts that you are called to share. But how do you stay humble? Is it ever okay to refuse the honor of leadership out of a sense of deference or humility? And on the other hand is it ever okay to accept to lead because you know that you are the best one for the job? These are the questions …
 
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