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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> The Soul of a Leader #8: Persevering to the End

thought-leadersWhen consistently engaging in practices of human wholeness and integrity something “subtle” takes place. Transformation.

This has been my favorite and most challenging chapter of this book. I am still wrestling with the notion that the “dark night of the soul” has an impact on one’s business life as well as one’s spirituality.

Of course, you say. Of course, I say!

A big mistake of modernity has been to compartmentalize spirituality away from other categories of work, life and relationships.

Of course one’s journey of personal maturity includes and impacts all areas of life. Even work. Especially work.

Benefiel courageously takes on perseverance in light of those tumultuous, disorienting seasons of life when the assumptions that have guided us to date collide with a deeper, richer, larger reality.

A medieval scholar, St. John of the Cross, is most famous for observing and describing how the spiritual journey includes seasons of such enormous disorientation that all ways seem dark, lonely, and impassable.

But we live busy lives of work, family, community involvement, political activism, etc. How do we accommodate an extended season of difficult transformation where the guides, maps and compasses that have served us to date no longer seem to be working?

Hence the chapter focus on perseverance.

For some things there are no answers.

For some obstacles the only way to the other side is through. There is no going around. What seems like an obstacle to us is a necessary process of maturing transformation.

Perseverance suggests that when all else fails, when our senses don’t serve us, when our path is foggy, our energies depleted, our confidence shot, we choose to continue with the practices of integrity and character and spiritual formation that, though the years, have become our foundation.

The way forward is through. The practices of the past will keep us afloat while we struggle to get our bearings in the deeper, richer, larger reality that we are encountering.

Are you steeped in practices that fortify your character?  Can you choose to pray even when you don’t feel like it? Can you put an employee’s interests before your own when motivation is low and finances tight?

Your “dark night of the soul” is coming (if you aren’t currently in the midst of one.) It is a good thing, if a very difficult thing. It means you are growing up. May God bless you and I with the daily practices at work and at home that build the strength of character we will need to persevere. The way forward is through.

What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of The Soul of a Leader by Margaret Benefiel. My reflections are my own and are intended to generate conversation, catalyze additional thinking and encourage mutual learning.
If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.

Here's My Thought...

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