Archive for August, 2009
Posted on August 18th, 2009 by admin Comments Off
Life is full of paradoxes! At this time of the year, when the beauty and abundance of all creation is at its zenith in Washington State, I am reminded by National Geographic that by the year 2030, there will be no more ice that presently makes up the polar cap during the summer months due to global warming.
As I enjoy peaches, apples and berries in my own back yard, I am reminded that in Asian, African and Latin American countries alone, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank has called “absolute poverty.” The air is clean and refreshing as I sit on my deck and watch a pink Mount Rainier fade into the sunset, drawing me into a trance of wonder and awe. At the same time, I know that I am the citizen of a country with the dubious distinction as a leading emitters of greenhouse gases, which are poisoning our planet.
How can I enjoy such abundance when so many do not? How can there be so much lack in the midst of such plenty?
I have struggled with this question for years as a follower of Jesus and an advocate for stewardship as a way of life and I have come to several conclusions:
- I believe without question that God wants all people to experience the abundance that I enjoy each day.
- I believe that to those who have been given much, much is expected.
- I believe unwaveringly in Godâ€™s abundance; but, at times, I question the human capacity to share.
- I believe our world does not face a shortage of resources, but we do face an unjust distribution of those resources.
- I believe Jesus knew and lived this tension as well.
We have big issues to decide as a nation, as municipalities and as communities and many of them focus on ways to share the abundance in life with all in our care. Stewardship, grounded in Catholic Social Teaching, calls us to be faithful to receiving, developing, sharing and returning the abundance of this life at all levels of human design. We do not to sacrifice what we enjoy in order to live in right relationship; but we do need to remember that we are caretakers, not owners. We are recipients and not the source. May the abundance of your summer days overflow with the desire and commitment to appreciate, care and share all that God gives.
Carol Guenther, Consultant, Mediator
The Reid Group
Posted on August 6th, 2009 by admin Comments Off
Hiring the right person and achieving a good fit between the individual and the institution, the position and the work environment is not enough to ensure a successful search process. Once a qualified, excellent candidate is selected, organizationsâ€”to be successfulâ€”must spend time managing the transition processes of both the current leader and the newly-selected leader.
For current leaders, it is important that they not actâ€”or be perceivedâ€”as a lame-duck, just filling in their time until their term is up. Rather, to really serve the organization, they need to act as leaders in transition, recognizing the many significant roles they have to play as they complete their time of service. Specifically, there are four tasks that current leaders need to tackle:
1. Help their successor get off to the best start by sharing information and perspectives, and responding to questions.
2. Put their own relationships in order. Effect appropriate closure with staff, Boards and donors, and give consideration to any people in those groups from whom they are alienated. Reconcile with those people or, if that canâ€™t happen, recognize that now is not the time for reconciliation and let it go.
3. Finish the work that only they can do and make decisions about delegating other tasks to staff or to their successor.
4. Say thank you and goodbye. Leaders serve well when they say thanks, affirm the people and organization they have served, and say goodbye. This is important for themselves and also for those they leave behindâ€”we have to say goodbye to what has been before we are free to move on to what will be.
Newly-selected leaders also have four responsibilities in this transition time:
1. Take time to learn from their predecessor as well as other leaders and governing bodies in the organization.
2. Prepare their own transition plan. Identify ways they want to enter into their new position.
3. Commit themselves to listen and learn for much of the first year in the position. Honor what has been and respect the ways the organization has functioned. This â€œlistening timeâ€ may need to be adjusted, however, if the organization is experiencing significant crisis.
4. Plan to implement changes in ways that serve the organizationâ€™s needs and that respect those committed to the organization.
Too often, organizations stop their work in the search process with the hiring of a candidate, which can short-change the success of the process. This is why the last two steps of The Reid Groupâ€™s search process focus on transition and orientation in order to ensure a successful outcome for everyone involved.
What challenges does your organization face in finding qualified, excellent candidates for leadership positions?Â What has been your experience with the transition process with new leadership?Â We’d love to hear from you!
The Reid Group
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