August 28, 2014 – Leadership and the 12 Steps – Step 2 – Questions for You

Fr. Rohr writes of reuniting “head, heart, and body” to be effective in our lives. He suggests (and I agree) that “your heart needs to be broken, and broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others”. Gee, I hate that for all of us. Yet without pain, how can we enjoy beauty.? Without dark, how would we know how good the light is? How could victory be sweet unless we experienced loss?

Here are the questions posed for chapter two of Breathing Under Water. They are not easy to answer. Neither is being a strong leader. So, get after it.

1. “It takes major surgery…to get head, heart, and body to put down their defenses” (page 9). In what area of your life do you most strongly resist opening up to new ways of being?

2. “To keep the mind space open, we need some form of contemplative or meditation practice” (page 11). How can you begin to be still and just be in the presence of this Higher Power?

3. “I think your heart needs to be broken, and broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others” (page 12). Think of a time when your heart was broken. How has this led you to greater compassion?

4. “For many of us the body is more repressed and denied than even the mind or the heart” (page 15). When was the last time you touched someone or that someone touched you? What stops you from doing this?

Hard work, indeed…you can do it. Invest the time. Please…

David Miller Initials


August 27, 2014 – Leadership and the 12 Steps – Step 2 (continued)

Fr. Richard Rohr posts a daily email excerpt from his books. These excerpts have become sources of strength for me. Below is the message from August 15, 2014.

“The soul defines itself by expansion and inclusion—not by saying “no,” but by offering a kind of courageous, risky “yes”: “Yes, I am like everybody else, capable of the same good and the same bad. They are all my brothers and sisters.” The soul knows that we are all equally naked underneath our clothes. Can you feel the scariness in that? When you allow the face of the other, the opinion of the other, the worldview of the other, to break through your barriers and boundaries, there is always a bit of fear, as in the first moments of nakedness or intimacy.

I can see why Jesus said, “For the gate is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14). He is talking, first, about life in this world. On the unconscious level, I know that true intimacy with anything is going to change me. And if there is one thing that the ego hates more than anything else, is to change. I know that if I keep meditating, it is going to change my worldview, my priorities, and my preferences. It will be a new world, and I am comfortably hunkered down in this old one. It is a wonder that anyone continues the dangerous journey of prayer, step-by-step, into divine and soul intimacy.” (Adapted from Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer, pp. 23-24)

MWM readers: don’t you see how this applies to your leadership? What you are doing is risky. That’s what makes it so exciting and powerful. There is risk in being the “real you” and in order to really know yourself it takes the work of deep thinking (meditation, contemplation, prayer). Call it what you prefer, but do it! You will find a new world of ideas and priorities and leadership.

David Miller Initials

August 26, 2014 – Leadership and the 12 Steps – Step 2

Step 2 of the AA 12 Steps Program: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Sounds like we have to check our brains at the door, doesn’t it? As leaders don’t we need facts and strategies and tangibles to do our jobs? Don’t throw in this higher power stuff, right? That’s for people who have problems…perhaps are even insane???

If you want facts, here are some to consider. No, we don’t need to check our brains at the door; but we do need to engage our hearts…our true selves…in order to lead. Yes, we need strategies and one of the best strategy we can employ is to invest our time with this Power that we cannot possibly fully understand.

Restore us to sanity? Yes, if you buy into one definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In order to change our leadership style and increase our leadership effectiveness we must try new ideas; embrace new concepts; adopt new policies; and surrender our own selves.

It takes courage to make such changes. And while our co-workers (or family members) can certainly give us encouragement, ultimately the great Giver of courage is our Creator. God is available. God is patiently waiting. And God has all we need if only we ask for it.

If this sounds a bit to “religious” for you, consider Fr. Rohr’s statement on page 9 of Breathing Under Water. “Religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell.”

To hell…and back. It’s a terrible journey, but reaching the destination is worth the trip.

David Miller Initials