Fr Nathan Cromly public
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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 …
 
Leadership is a challenge for all of us for many reasons but almost every leader complains of being distracted. Not being able to focus on what they have to do and sometimes being overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the problems before them. You might be interested to know that the same complaint was shared by a pope, Pope St. Gregory The Great.…
 
St. Gregory The Great lived a very long time ago but his words remain important for us today. Even though he was a Pope and a Bishop he was first and foremost a leader. His book, “On The Rule Of Shepherds” is a hallmark on leadership from the middle ages to today. Looking at this book can give us insights into what Christ asks for those that follow…
 
One of the biggest challenges a leader has is the fact that everyone of us is responsible for the decisions that the people under us will make. How can I help the people that I lead make good decisions? St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica writes a great deal about making choices. By following his teaching we can have an insight that will hel…
 
Of all the kings of the Old Testament King Solomon stands apart. His reign was stupendous. His wisdom very deep. His success by worldly standards was unparalleled. And yet he fell and he fell mightily. What can we learn from his example? An example of a talented man, extremely wise and extremely successful, but whose lack of virtue gets the better …
 
Among the saints in the New Testament Saint Paul stands apart. He was successful in ways that we can’t even measure. He was the apostle to the Gentiles, the founder of churches, and the model for evangelizers. But Saint Paul also knew hard times: riots, anxieties, afflictions, imprisonment. What can we learn from the things the Bible shows us where…
 
Sometimes leaders feel like they have to be perfect. It can be good, however, to study the times that leaders aren’t perfect. Seeing that God shows mercy to us even when we are imperfect can encourage us to continue to lead even during difficult times. In Part 3 of our series “Where Leaders Fail” we read about Moses. Just like we can learn from his…
 
Most of us are aware of the story of King David, of the way that God blessed him and of God’s eternal covenant with David. And most of us are aware of the story of Bathsheba and David’s famous lack of chastity. The lessons of the life of David for our spiritual lives are many and deep. But studying his failures from Bathsheba to Absalom his son to …
 
We all know that leaders need to be strong and bold and brave. We all know that a group’s success will depend in large proportion on the success of it’s leadership. But what happens when leaders aren’t successful? Have there ever been saints that showed us the other side of failure? What can we learn from the stories of leaders, even Saints, who ma…
 
In this final episode of my class on Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules For Radicals,” I give an overview of this thought and describe why I think his thought is so dangerous and at the same time so appealing. His vision for organizers represents a vision that many people share about leadership. But I think it’s also an opportunity for us who follow Chris…
 
In Chapter 7 of his book, “Rules For Radicals” Saul Alinsky unveils what he is most famous for. The rules for victory that radicals can follow for organizing a community for change. These rules have sparked much interest and debate for many years because they are both practical and successful. But are they aligned with the Gospel? Where can we both…
 
All leadership implies power but does power explain what leadership is? From a Catholic perspective leadership requires principle. Saul Alinsky would disagree. In Chapter 6 of his book, “Rules For Radicals”, Alinsky lays out a very powerful description of leadership without principle. What does the Christian have to say in response?…
 
Regardless of what we have to say, our ability to say it is equally important. If we cannot express what we have inside no one will listen to us anyway. This is the great intuition of Saul Alinsky in “Rules For Radicals” where he outlines the words used by organizers, the education necessary for an organizer, and highlights the importance of their …
 
Does a good end justify the means taken to get there? Our leaders authorized to do the good “no matter what” by any means necessary – even means that are wrong? Can we judge something as being wrong when it actually produces something that is good? These questions are central to the question of leadership and the decisions we have to make as leader…
 
Christ calls us to be leaders, but what exactly is the point of the leadership to which He calls us? In Saul Alinsky’s, “Rules For Radicals,” he presents a vision of leadership devoid of an ultimate end goal. Instead he insists on the ultimate relationship between leadership and the power to wield it. Couldn’t this be a Catholic moment? Isn’t this …
 
Sometimes the voice of the Gospel can best be heard by listening to the voices of those who do not profess it. Such is the case for Saul Alinsky. In his “Rules For Radicals” this social agitator outlined a series of beliefs that have produced stunning success. But have they produced effective leadership? What’s the difference between his philosophy…
 
The persuasive power of any falsehood lies in its proximity with the truth. Machiavelli’s, “The Prince”, contains many truths and many statements which ring true to our practical ears. Chapter 22 concerning the secretaries of princes is a great example of this. In this chapter we read many things that help us understand our role as servants against…
 
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