“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

-C.G. Jung


To introduce and give a flavour of an Ignatian approach to leadership. To be aware that the skills of self-reflection and awareness that we have been developing throughout the course can be applied in real-life situations at home, at work and in our faith communities.


Participants will . . . .

  • Look at and investigate unethical and ethical leadership situations
  • Consider their own core values and how they balance ideals and the messy reality of life
  • Pray with practical ways of moving towards value based leadership.


Welcome and Stilling

Sharing Groups

The Values of an Authentic leader

A Life long Process

Reflection Questions on Core Values and Balance

Share in Pairs


Intro to Prayer


Individual Prayer


Link: Music: Brother, Sister, Let me Serve you


  1. Authentic and ethical leader:

Bring to mind examples of authentic and ethical leaders you have interacted with (you can also think of well-known values-based leaders throughout history).

  • What unique character strengths defined them?

  • What values drove their actions?

  1. Unethical leader:

Bring to mind an “unethical” leadership situation that resulted in deception or abuse.

  • How did this experience make you feel?

  • What were the implications of this exercise of leadership on the group and overall performance?

  • Looking back, what values were breached?

  1. Personal reflection:

  • Identify a defining moment in which you honoured your core values and another moment in which you failed to act according to them. What can you say about each situation? How did they impact you and people around you?

  • In which situations do I find myself more vulnerable to compromising my principles? How well do I balance between my ideals and the messy reality of life?

(i) Love: the essence of ethical leadership

Interviews and research work on the topic are pointing that love (the warm desire to see others grow and become better) constitutes the essence of ethical leadership. (Kouzes & Posner, 1992).

Nourishing leadership from the inside out and deepening integrity and authenticity are far from easy and often linked to a sense of vulnerability and exposure. Aligning our principles and behaviour takes time, practice and the courage to constantly inquire about our values and intentions. It is a commitment to embrace a more complex code of ethics and virtues than the one we originally developed. This means developing a wide set of human values that are varied and adaptable to the complex situations we face, and that we commit to constantly examine.

Among the practices and exercises that can help us develop our character and lead authentically are:

  • Carving out time for reflection.

  • Learning from defining moments that force us to examine our choices and ways of being.

  • Narrowing as much as possible the gap between our work self and our private self.

  • Surrounding ourselves with people who will give us true feedback.

  • Working with mentors and spiritual accompaniers.

  • Finding role models and individuals who inspire us to act from the best version of ourselves.

  • Setting virtuous habits (for example committing to being courageously truthful,…).

  • Being accountable for our mistakes and encouraging others to do so as well.

  • Cultivating a spiritual life. The spiritual dimension does not only refer to virtuous and moral behavior but is mainly understood as having an open disposition to the transcendent meaning of human existence.

  • Examining our values and aligning them with our actions. This includes striving for consistency between what we believe and value and what we say and do.

When you read through the above list, which one statement jumps out at you. Bring that statement with you into prayer and let it lead you into a conversation with God.

(ii) James 4:13

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

(iii) Matthew 5: 1-12

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:

“ Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you,

persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,

for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you“.

(iv) Come, You Spirit of Quiet. Guide me into your Stillness that I might hear in myself the Word you speak… Come You Spirit of Breath, breathe your breath into my thoughts, into my feelings. Come and take your place in me. My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you. My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.

Morning Prayer GC36 – October 11th 2016

Good Leader
Leader and followers
Leading by helping

Brother, Sister, Let me Serve You

Brother, sister let me serve you.

Let me be as Christ to you;

pray that I may have the grace to

let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,

and companions on the road;

we are here to help each other

walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you

in the night-time of your fear;

I will hold my hand out to you,

speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;

when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;

I will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven

we shall find such harmony,

born of all we’ve known together

of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister let me serve you.

Let me be as Christ to you;

pray that I may have the grace to

let you be my servant too.

  1. Complete any unfinished parts of what we did in the session this evening and in particular the other prayer options.
  2. Read through the “Value Based Leadership” handout for further background to the session.
  3. Read through the “Two Standards in Leadership”handout by Nikolaas Sintobin SJ