This past week, I had the distinct pleasure to join 26 brother bishops for some continuing formation. We gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina for a program; Instinctive Leadership Behaviors, Developed Values, and Versatility as a Shepherding Bishop

The program is one of several such leadership development courses offered by Catholic Leadership Institute.  This organization was founded in 1990 by a Catholic business man, Mr. Tim Flanagan.  Tim had a deep desire to use his own gifts for leadership and his passion and love for the church to enhance the leadership skills of Church leaders.  Initially, this effort was directed towards lay leaders in the Church. 

Over the course of time, a strong curriculum was developed for priests also, known as Good Leaders, Good Shepherds.  With the success of this training, further efforts led to ongoing formation opportunities for bishops. 

The course this week shared with us powerful leadership tools.  Our time together as brother bishops for learning, prayer, relaxation and socializing was a gift in and of itself; complimented by the tremendous amount of helpful information shared and hopefully learned, I count this as a great week in my life as a bishop. 

We learned much about our personal behaviors, and how they are an asset when it comes to leadership, and how they can work against us if we are unaware of how we are being perceived by those we seek to work with and lead.  In the same line of training, we learned how to be more observant of the behavior of others, and how we can grow in our versatility to be more effective in working with them, and helping them at the same time to become better leaders themselves.

Along with behaviors, we looked closely at the Gospel values that we hold so dear, and how these values serve as tremendous motivators for our behaviors.  The goal now, is to implement this wealth of knowledge so as to become a more effective leader as bishops.  Please, God, may this be so!

There were a number of key CLI members present with us during the week.  The two course instructors were Mr. Matthew Mannion, President and CEO of CLI and Rev. Bill Dickinson, the National Director of CLI.  Also present, Mr. Tim Flanagan.  He clearly has a deep love for the Church, and a great desire to share in numerous ways to assist leaders in the Church to reach their full potential.  Finally, working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly was Ms. Janna Fellman, Senior Ministry Development Coordinator. 

Thanks, to each of these individuals and to the Catholic Leadership Institute for a great week!  Thanks especially for your love for the Church, and those dedicated to serving the People of God!