Radyo Katipunan guests Chris Lowney for “Crisis Leadership: The Ignatian View” lecture

Continuing its series of lectures for the Ignatian Year, Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM welcomed Chris Lowney, author and leadership consultant, as he presented his online talk, “Crisis Leadership: The Ignatian View”, last Friday evening, October 15.

Streamed via the Ateneo de Manila University official campus radio’s Facebook and YouTube pages, the webinar examined Jesuit-inspired leadership philosophies and best practices in light of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Referencing the US military’s characterization of the 21st century as one of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, Lowney underscored how “better and evolved leadership becomes imperative” given this environment.

Under a new culture of leadership, the chair of the Catholic Health Initiatives board envisions everyone embracing their leadership opportunity and responsibility, improving their overall leadership skills, being adaptive amidst constant change, acquiring a habit of daily reflection, and committing to live with purpose beyond oneself.

“When things become complex, no one hierarchical leader at the top can possibly understand every issue. Especially in such environments, we need every one of us to accept that ‘YesI have a leadership opportunity and responsibility’,” explained Lowney.

“I invite us to think about the more basic dictionary definition of leadership- pointing out a way, direction or goal, and influencing others toward it. By how we treat people, how we use our time, what our priorities are, we’re implicitly pointing out how others must live and work, what they ought to value.”

Describing great leaders as heroic, loving, self-aware and ingenious, Lowney expounded on how these individuals are ‘Magis-driven’ with a desire to excel; see others as dignified, exemplifying ‘Cura Personalis’; possess self-awareness through the daily ‘Examen’ of their strengths and weaknesses; and practice ‘Ignatian Indifference’ by being free to adapt to an ever-changing world.

“Whether it’s a pandemic, a huge economic recession or a hurricane, life has a way of ‘punching us in the face.’ Those who are leading well have the capacity to be able to keep changing, to keep adapting,” added Lowney, as he related the quality of ingenuity to his experience of re-opening a hospital in the middle of the global health crisis.

“If we want to be changed leaders, if we want to be ingenious, one of the things we can do is unload our inner baggage. The great insight that Jesuit tradition and heroic leadership puts on the table, is to invite us to think about what holds us back sometimes from being creative and adaptive.”

After responding to questions and comments from audiences, Lowney shared a quote from Nelson Mandela, on facing one’s weaknesses and struggles with courage- eventually bringing out the best leaders in all of us.

“It’s both an invitation and a challenge to us. The things I shared in this seminar, none of them are going to happen without courage, everyday courage. ‘I’m going to show up. I’m going to say what needs to be said. I’m going to treat people the way they should be treated, even when they don’t treat me that way’,” advised the Fordham University alumnus, one-time Jesuit Seminarian, and former Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co.

“Something about leadership is that despite our own issues, is to appreciate that we also have some gifts, that we believe in the idea of calling, whether in a deeply religious or human way. ‘Here’s where I am, somehow the universe and history has put me in this place. This is where I’ve been called to lead.’”

Watch the full “Crisis Leadership: The Ignatian View” Ignatian Year lecture via the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f9Fy2YmKks

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