Saturday 20th October 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Leadership Studies?

July 18, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER

(Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., and is a frequent contributor to The Wanderer.)

+ + +

Very recently, a professor — “Dr. Smith” — at a certain university contacted me by email to ask my opinion about a leadership program which that institution plans to begin.
Having taught leadership and ethics for a number of years, I was happy to provide whatever experience I have gained in and through those years of teaching and writing. At the outset, there is a critical question:

I.

How can we teach leadership if and when it emanates from an ethically stricken society, one which the prophet Isaiah described this way:
“Justice is driven away, and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there. There is so little honesty that anyone who stops doing evil finds himself the victim of crime” (59:14-15 GNB).
With respect to leadership studies, if this is today’s “culture,” what can be done (cf. Psalms 11:3, 82:5)?
Three practical matters require study:
First, frequently what passes for leadership programs in various colleges amounts to a bundling of courses from various fields which are connected, if only tangentially, with the ideas of leadership and management. A burden of proof lies squarely upon curriculum innovators to show how a reshuffling of already existing courses, now branded as “Leadership Studies,” is likely to result in benefit to students. In other words, why not just maintain the major in English, or politics, or philosophy?
Second, newly instituted leadership programs sometimes claim that students will substantially develop their organizational skills and style, greatly enhancing their abilities to contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness (two favorite contemporary bureaucratic nouns) of their future businesses. One can reasonably question, however, whether a university major ought to be devoted to “skills enhancement.” If the development of “skill” is the premier purpose of a university program, how does the university differ from a jobs training site?
Third, there is, moreover, the corollary matter of whether the skill set taught at and by a university will satisfy the particular needs of the organization in which the graduated student finds employment. Every business has its unusual, or even unique, codes and rites of operation. Many skills are best developed as a result of “on-the-job training.”
University claims may be inflated, then, in advertising that students will learn skills immediately marketable and universally applicable in the worlds of business, medicine, education, and so on.

II.

Warren G. Bennis (1925-2014), the well-known organizational theorist, said: “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.”
Well, no: Not exactly.
“Managers” do things as routinely stipulated by their organizations. “Leaders” do the right thing only if they know the right thing to do. If leaders are ignorant of what is right, they will default to doing what is stipulated, customary, routine, popular, or self-promotional.
This is precisely why university programs advertised as “Leadership Studies” must be rooted in the traditional liberal arts. If we want leaders who do the “right thing,” we must have colleges which transmit, not just “values,” but virtues. If right thought or action is not securely grounded in what is Right, then right is interchangeable with might; then right is fungible with “doing whatever is necessary to get the job done”; then right is compatible with obsequiously pleasing the boss and getting ahead in a dog-eat-dog world.
When we think of doing what is conventionally right, we may think of the Machiavellian idea of virtu and of libido dominandi; when we think of doing what is ethically Right, we may think of virtue and of the natural moral law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1803).
Leaders who do the Right thing “see that justice is done” (Isaiah 1:17), and they “hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21; cf. James 4:17). If the word right can be compromised and confusing, so can the word values. Everyone has values; not everyone has virtues (Wisdom 8:7, 2 Peter 1:3-8). In fact, “whoever lacks [virtue] is blind and shortsighted” (2 Peter 1:9). That includes, of course, institutions of higher learning whose “leaders” and faculty, for want of either vision or valor (or both), “call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
Here, then, is the core of any program styling itself “leadership studies”: to develop men and women of integrity, capable of genuinely distinguishing good from evil, truth from lies, and beautiful from barbaric. But more: any “leadership” program which does not deliberately seek to inculcate virtue is the ally of vice. As Pope Leo XIII put it in Militantis Ecclesiae (1897):
“If they remember the saying of the ancients, that knowledge merits the name of cleverness rather than wisdom when it is separated from justice, or better yet if they meditate on the words of Scripture: ‘They are vain, those men in whom there is no knowledge of God’ (Wisdom 13:1), they will learn to use the weapons of knowledge less for their personal gain than for the general good.”
The good human being will soon master the necessary job skills; the corrupt human being will employ skill only in reprobate ways.
In Anton Myrer’s novel Once an Eagle, a warrior is told: “If it comes to a choice between being a good soldier and a good human being, try to be a good human being.”
There is the kernel of good sense which ought to be foundational to any program in leadership (cf. Hab. 2:4).
Catholic college “leadership studies” programs, then, must be devoted, first and foremost, to the formation of good human beings (see CCC, n. 2518) who are “educated in the moral law” (CCC, n. 2526), and not only or primarily immersed in learning banausic skills.
This requires that such institutions advertise, not immediate and lucrative post-graduate employment based upon students having (presumably) mastered certain marketable management techniques, but, rather, advertise and vigorously promote the development of Catholic character.
“Truth vandals,” to use Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s apt term, argue that “character education” is essentially a conservative enterprise. That allegation is, in fact, true. But while secularists mean this pejoratively, it is, in fact, an accolade, for the purpose of education is, at its heart, to conserve, protect, and revere what is true and to prevent the truth from being besmirched into fabrication and falsehood.
What St. Paul told Timothy, after all, he told us, too (including the presidents of ostensibly Catholic colleges): “Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim. 6:20; cf. 2 Tim. 1:14).

III

In an age of relativism, nihilism, and hedonism, how are we to have college programs which insist upon teaching, not skills, but virtue; not servility to the boss or the organization, but fidelity to God first (Matt. 6:333); and not “doing whatever it takes,” if “it” demands sin as the price of success (Matt. 16:26)?
I suggested to Dr. Smith that leadership begins in our realizing the power of Philippians 4:8-9, which concerns our ability to think wisely and well and continues with commitment to “put [it] into practice” (v. 9). If we can’t think well, we can’t do well.
Leadership Studies programs must therefore be grounded in moral theology, philosophy and ethics, history, literature, and classical politics.
A leadership faculty must be at pains to have students think about what is Right, not just right; about the historical and moral precedents for situations; about the probable result of the result (second-order thinking) in any circumstance; about who must not know about what is being decided and why he/she/they should be denied such knowledge (this is, as they say, a “probing question,” and red flags should pop up if there is an answer to it!); and about what is the most dangerous, or the potentially stupidest, element of what is being decided.
Are those involved fully prepared, if necessary, to say “No” to their bosses? The short scripture here is Acts 5:29 (“We must obey God before men”).
Leadership programs must teach, then, that the health of one’s career is nowhere nearly as important as the health of one’s soul. Separate sound moral teaching from the academic enterprise and you have given birth, as did Dr. Frankenstein, to a monster — in this case, one masquerading as Mr. Chips.
As Pope Leo XIII presciently put it:
“If there ever existed a period which demanded abundant science and knowledge to defend the Catholic faith, it is assuredly ours in which the rapid progress in all branches of study often furnishes the enemies of the Christian faith with an occasion for attacking it.
“We must therefore commit the same forces to repel their attack. We must occupy the position first and snatch from their hands the weapons with which they are trying to destroy all links between God and man.”
Good leaders are prepared — in mind and spirit — to serve the cause of what is Right, and to inspire others to follow that path (cf. Psalm 119:33-48).
The key to this is perspective, meaning the ability to see through the present to the eternal; the ability to know the value of things, not just their cost; and the ability to choose what ought to be done rather than just what the crowd cheers.
These lessons come from university honor codes; from seminars rooted in the enduring literature (such as Antigone); and from professors not devoted to instructing about “skill sets,” but, rather, dedicated to guiding men and women to what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious. The university which imbues its graduates with knowledge of, and fidelity to, what is noble produces genuine leaders.
Leadership is the cultivated ability to inspire appropriate conduct beyond the expectable. Wise education enhances such ability, and, at least to some extent, it empowers and encourages leaders to galvanize others in the service of what is Right beyond what would otherwise be expected.
When a college — or its president and faculty — stand muddled, mute, and myopic before the great questions of our time (Are we God’s or gods? Do we know any Truth? Are life, love, and learning the property of the Leviathan State? Do we invent for ourselves or discover by grace the meaning of our years?), they are iniquitously contending that all which is holy is manufactured and manipulated by those who know the love of power but not the power of love.
These negative sentiments, though, are strikingly common today, even — or especially — on college campuses, where it is chichi to think that goodness is a matter of emotional commitment to whatever the glitterati applaud; that truth is a matter of taste; and that beauty is found in the latest fads and immodest fashions.
We need faithful Catholic education if we are to have faithful Catholic leaders.
One wishes “Dr. Smith” well. If it’s true that no effect is greater than its cause, then to have a great Leadership Studies Program, one needs a great university.
And a great university — especially a great Catholic university — must be countercultural in teaching future leaders the profound difference, not only between right and wrong, but also between Right and right.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Twitter locks LifeSite out of account for ‘hate’: fact-based post on rise in gay STDs

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has just locked LifeSiteNews out of our Twitter account over an article we posted four years ago that provided expert analysis on the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among homosexuals. The 2014 piece by Dr. Gerard M.…Continue Reading

Ave Maria U president who criticized Cdl. Burke, Archbishop Viganò announces resignation

AVE MARIA, Florida, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Just six weeks after he issued a statement criticizing Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Ave Maria University (AMU) announced its president Jim Towey will step down in June 2020. Vigano’s 11-page testimony…Continue Reading

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Michigan AG seizes Catholic dioceses’ records in sex abuse investigation

(CNN)Michigan authorities have seized records from every Catholic diocese in the state as part of an investigation into possible sexual abuse by clergy, the dioceses said in separate statements released Wednesday. The Archdiocese of Detroit, and dioceses in Gaylord, Grand…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal reproves US archbishop for criticizing Youth Synod’s working doc

VATICAN CITY, October 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A second prominent cardinal has publicly rebuked Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput for publishing last week a letter critical of the controversial working document being used at the upcoming Youth Synod in Rome. At a press conference at the Vatican…Continue Reading

Catholic lay leaders: We were wrong about Church, McCarrick on sex abuse crisis

In 2004, Anne Burke went before the City Club of Chicago to say the Catholic Church was beginning “to set things right” by appointing a lay board — which Burke chaired — to address the sex abuse crisis then embroiling…Continue Reading

Protesters demand resignation of Catholic University professor over Kavanaugh tweets

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Demonstrators at the Catholic University of America are calling for the resignation of a dean over tweets he published criticizing a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. In addition, some demonstrators insisted…Continue Reading

Catholic Magazine Rescinds Endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

America, a weekly Roman Catholic magazine published by members of the Jesuit religious order, on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh after the Senate hearing on an attempted sexual assault accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford. “Even…Continue Reading

Pedophilia Isn’t The Main Problem With Catholic Priests, Homosexuality Is

The editorial board of the New York Times declared it had identified the source of “The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain.” It names pedophilia and asks: “How have so many pedophiles been allowed into the priesthood?” The question was purely rhetorical…Continue Reading

A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out

Here is a link to a 10-minute on-camera Church Militant interview with Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest who is now in hiding after being tossed from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich. Kalchik lost his position after presiding over…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Viganò issues third testimony, refutes accusations of Cardinal Ouellet

ROME, October 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has issued a third explosive testimony, in response to an open letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Here below we publish the official English text of Archbishop Viganò’s third testimony, dated October 19, the liturgical Feast of the North American Martyrs. To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am…Continue Reading

FEDERAL GOV’T LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PA

WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – The federal government has issued subpoenas to multiple Pennsylvania dioceses in a criminal probe into sex abuse cover-up. The subpoenas were served last week, but news of the investigation only broke Thursday. So far, seven out of eight Pennsylvania dioceses — Erie, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh and Greensburgh — have confirmed they have received subpoenas, some stating they will cooperate with the investigation. Two Easter

Youth Synod group calls Church to attend to ‘realities’ of gay ‘marriage’, surrogacy, adoption

VATICAN CITY, October 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group at the Vatican’s Youth Synod has called for the Catholic Church to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption. “[…]There is the issue of what to do and how to act with homosexuals, which cannot remain outside of our pastoral activity and other realities such as marriages between homosexuals, wombs for rent, adoption on the part…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl blasts Viganò testimony as ‘not faithful to the facts’

October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Donald Wuerl had a few choice words to say regarding Archbishop Carlo Viganò when he was interviewed by a liberal Catholic magazine yesterday. In a long and laudatory article published by America magazine today, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C. – and its apostolic administrator until his replacement is named – denied Viganò’s allegation

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. By Christopher Wells Cardinal Wuerl had submitted his resignation three years ago, when he turned 75, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law (can. 401 §1). In September, the Cardinal met with Pope Francis and requested that his resignation be accepted. At the time, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Pope Francis . . . Laicizes Two Chilean Bishops For Sexual Abuse Of Minors

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Pope Francis has officially expelled two Chilean bishops from the clerical state. Both men were accused of sexual abuse of minors. The decision was issued without the possibility to appeal, the Vatican announced on Saturday, October 13. The Vatican announced that Francisco José Cox Huneeus, 84, archbishop emeritus of La Serena,…Continue Reading

Pope Orders Investigation Of Vatican’s McCarrick Files

By J.D. FLYNN VATICAN CITY (CNA) — The Vatican announced Saturday, October 6 that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians…Continue Reading

After Holy See-China Agreement… Persecution Continues In Wenzhou, Henan, Hubei

ROME (AsiaNews) — The “provisional” agreement between China and the Holy See, signed on September 22, does not seem to have stopped persecution and violence against Catholics. The morning of October 11 in Lingkun, in the district of Yongqiang, the cross that stood on the bell tower of the Catholic church was torn down; the…Continue Reading

Bishops Of Ireland . . . Condemn Lack Of Safeguards In Irish Bill

DUBLIN (CNA/EWTN News) — The Irish bishops on October 5 lamented that the draft bill to legalize abortion in the Republic would require pro-life healthcare professionals to provide abortion referrals, calling the provision “an affront to conscience.” “The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 poses a very real practical and moral dilemma for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Truth: The Casualties In The Current Controversies

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. How many times can you receive Communion in one day? I have had priests tell me once and twice. Which is it? — J.S., Massachusetts. A. Twice a day. Canon 917 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law says that “a person who has received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only during…Continue Reading

“St. Michael The Archangel, Pray for Us!”

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, www.hli.org. It first appeared at www.hli.org on October 8. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able…Continue Reading

Our High Priest Sacrificed Himself

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the second reading St. Paul says we are to hold fast to our confession because we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. In this statement St. Paul summarizes our reason for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Youth Synod Repeats Old Errors

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are now making things up as we go along. As if the Church had been founded yesterday. This nonsense was already tried in the sixties and found wanting. Paolo Ruffini reported on Twitter that at a press conference for the 2018 Youth Synod now underway in Rome a speaker called for “a liturgy that…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Indulgences!

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The “indulgences” of the Catholic Church have acquired a bad name ever since Luther’s Reformation. In Luther’s days, it is true, the Church was going through one of those periods of crisis. Yes, there was a great crisis, almost as bad as today. The crisis was chiefly among the decadent clergy of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Luke

By CAROLE BRESLIN Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — these are the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels. There is a children’s prayer that many have learned to say before bed with a variety of versions, but who are these men? Actually, little is known about them except what is in the Bible. There are some other traditions handed down…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alexander Sauli

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church was blessed with many saints including a lesser known but deeply loved man, Fr. Alexander Sauli, who labored in a little-known order, the Barnabites. Alexander was born of a wealthy and highly regarded family of Lombard on February 15, 1534. His father, Dominic, was the Marquis of…Continue Reading