I’ve found a central trait of great business leaders is that they are humble, always learning, and have a desire for best practices. If a leader is rejecting the idea that they need to continue to grow, or feel “they have it all figured out”, they are likely not a leader. The desire for best practices and growth have caused a recent increase in something called “leadership coaches”. There are both good and poor leadership coaches, but the good ones will help a leader to maximize their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. The coach will dig into specific topics such as “providing feedback”, “style of communication”, or “meeting facilitation”. In many organizations the use of a leadership coach is a pre-requisite to enter into management positions. The reason for this investment is that companies know that great leaders will make or break the culture and execution of their company. In the company I’m a part of, we are investing in leadership coaching at most levels of the organization is various capacities because we know the benefit it will bring to the individuals and to the business.
In business coaching you often need to look at how your interpersonal style or decisions have impacted the company. In some cases those decisions have impacted the company positively and in others it has impacted it negatively. Coming to the realization of your faults, admitting them, and correcting them, is an exercise any good leader will do.
The holistic life
In the same way we may need leadership coaching, admission of faults, and correction as business leaders, we also need coaching in the whole of our life. Instead of just negatively and positively impacting our business, we’ve done the same for our life as a whole. The result is that we can carry on ignoring our faults, or we can be introspective and admit that we have fallen short.
The realization that you have fallen short provides the opportunity to really change. In the same way a businessman will create an action plan to remediate a broken work situation, or for a team member who is struggling, we need to engage in correcting areas of our life. This opportunity for analysis, transparency, and correction is confession, with the most powerful component being the forgiveness of our mistakes.
Step up and do it
This isn’t easy. When I returned to Church the hardest thing for me to do was confession. Deep down I knew that it was necessary, but it was hard to admit to myself, much less to a person sitting in ‘persona-Christi’ that I have failed. I’ve failed in serious ways and have not been the business person, husband, father, friend, or co-worker I always want to be. I learned through this process that confession is the single most important step in changing your life.
Confession requires you to let go of the perception of control that you believe you have. It requires you to accept that you don’t have everything managed, you don’t have everything organized, and that you need someone to point you toward the right direction. If you want to be the person you’re intended to be, you need confession.
Confession makes you a better business leader, because it helps you to remember who you are, what your faults are, and rightly focuses you toward God. In a similar way, understanding a problem exists in business, knowing you are free to solve the problem, and not being judged facilitates an attitude and result of constructive improvement.
The first piece of advice is to make confession regular. I happen to like going to St. Peter’s in the Loop in Chicago, as they are available from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM for confessions. This makes it easy for me to shoot over to church during my lunch or on my way to/from a client. We also happen to have Holy Hill near us, which offers confession before every Mass. Your church may not have these levels of frequency, but it likely does offer a 3:00 or 3:30 confession before the Saturday Mass.
The tangible results of going to confession are:
- You will be forgiven of your previous sins (that was an obvious one)
- You will be more focused on the activities you need to change
- You will be more rightly oriented in your activities
- You will be able to deal with personal and business situations more calmly
- You will guide your family toward holiness
- You will guide your co-workers toward holiness
This will change your life and I am certain you will not regret it.