Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Leadership

Wednesday greetings from beautiful Saint Louis Missouri.



I am here leading prayer and music for the leadership conference of SSM Healthcare, a large Catholic Healthcare system here in the Midwest. I have been leading prayer for these leadership conferences for many years. The people of SSM Healthcare have provided a foundation for exemplary leadership training for their employees for decades. Even though I am "only the musician" at these leadership conferences, I have been inspired as a leader in my own area of ministry and service through attending these conferences. When I became associate publisher at WLP, I was overwhelmed by what lay ahead. I am not trained in business practices and financial and accounting matters. When I worried about my new job as leader of this publishing company, what gave me solace and inspiration, especially during those many sleepless nights, was envisioning the faces of the managers and team members of World Library Publications. I see myself primarily as their customer service representative. I am there to serve the managers and employees. This is a philosophy that I believe has served our company well as we embrace new and innovative ways to serve the needs of the singing, praying, and initiating Church. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve SSM Healthcare, because the principles and ideals espoused and practiced in this Catholic Healthcare System I have been able to "borrow" (or steal, as the case may be) to implement in my own leadership role at World Library Publications and the J.S. Paluch Company.

I envision each of our managers and each and every one of our employees as a leader. Oftentimes, it is difficult for employees to envision themselves as leaders. "I just to what I am told to do," some say. Or, "I know my tasks and I accomplish them." But I believe that working in an environment that will ultimately produce music and resources that will eventually bring people closer to God means that none of us can have a laissez-faire attitude toward our work and ministry. I also believe that this extends to all of you, readers of this blog, who minister and work in the Church. Each one of us has the capacity to be a leader; to be one who looks at our every day tasks and asks the critical question: How can I accomplish what I do in a way that will more effectively people closer to the living God? This may mean sharpening our musical skills. This may mean always being open to innovative ways to use technology to further our mission, be it a corporate or personal mission. It means inspiring others to think outside of a "silo" mentality to find new ways to work together to accomplish common goals.

This may all seem like mumbo-jumbo, especially during those times when the tasks we perform often seem perfunctory or even boring. But I believe that using the gifts we were given freely by God to the best of our abilities makes us leaders who can do our work in breathtakingly inspiring ways, both for those who will ultimately be served by us, as well as those who work with us.

Well, thanks for listening to me today. Do you envision yourself as a leader?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Siobhan said...

Well said, Jerry. You never fail to inspire.

I marvel sometimes when I consider how much time I spend at a computer. How can I call myself a musician? But it takes time to organize information to give to the various music ministers in the parish so that they can in turn lead the assembly with confidence and competence.

The hours spent preparing a seasonal hymnal supplement - yikes! And yet, how else will the assembly unite their voices in song?

At least I still get to make music every day - that's consolation for all the "clerical" hours.

Thanks for the recent travelogue through Eastern Europe - I enjoyed the pictures!