Spiritually Healthy Leadership Blog Post Cover, a forest with a bridge and a quote superimposed on Sabbath practices.

Spiritually healthy leadership grounds high-achievers by connecting them with their purpose as they seek to influence the world. In this installment of our “Healthy Leader” series, we examine this idea of spiritually healthy leadership.

Spiritual Health: Connecting With The Divine

I spent nearly a decade in pastoral ministry before fully embracing my call as a coach. Each position led me a step closer in the process, but there was always a sense of, “this is not quite it…” when it came to feeling fulfilled.

Over the course of that decade, I learned a lot about myself, belonging in a community, healthy boundaries, interpersonal relationships, and effective communication. I spent time at every level of leadership.

At every point along the way, and with every “promotion” that was gifted to me (we can talk later about why I hate that term when applied to the church…) I found that I had fewer and fewer people to talk to. My friend list grew smaller, my mentors became fewer, and the circle of close confidants decreased.

When I started working with executives, I found the same was true with them. The higher they were on the ladder, the fewer people they had to talk to. That was, at least in part, their need for a coach. They looked around and realized they had no one to talk to.

Most of the time, I was (or at least felt) alone. The executives I worked with echoed that pain. Maybe you too can relate.

When I wasn’t alone, and people were genuinely trying to support me, we talked about a wide range of topics.

  • Marriage
  • Family
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • How much work I was doing
  • The quality of my preaching

Never once, not once in ten years, did someone ever ask: how are you at connecting with God? Is your spiritual life healthy?

A New Direction

That was part of my journey into both my doctoral school program and hiring my own coach. I needed that accountability. Studies, like one conducted by the Percept Group, seem to echo this, with nearly one-third of Los Gatos residents polled identifying “dealing with stress” as their chief spiritual concern. (1)

This in part explains the rise of contemplative prayer and mediation among leaders. There is a recognition that part of the human condition is wired to connect with something beyond ourselves. Spiritually Healthy Leadership Blog Post Cover, a forest with a bridge and a quote superimposed on Sabbath practices.

I teach an eastern philosophy class. In it, we examine Steve Jobs’ affection for Buddhism and how other great leaders are implementing some of these teachings. These leaders are yearning for something outside of the physical and temporal to belong to.

In general then, here are some practices and guidelines to help you grow and cultivate a healthy spiritual side of leadership.

Cultivating Spiritual Health

Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual disciplines offer a historically rooted approach to healthy leadership. Disciplines have always been an important component for people of faith. Through self-sacrifice, we discover deeper meaning, significance, and a sense of calling.

In his seminal work on the spiritual disciplines, Richard Foster notes their importance when he says,

“The classical Disciplines of the spiritual life call us to move beyond the surface living into the depths. They invite us to explore the inner caverns of the spiritual realm. They urge us to be the answer to a hollow world.” (2)

There are many forms of spiritual disciplines like fasting, prayer, mediation, holy pilgrimages, silence, forgiveness, solitude, and tithing.

The point in each of these is the same: denying some aspect of yourself or your personal will to spend time listening and connecting with God and his guiding power.

“Few things will keep us on course in the exercise of our leadership and facilitate the care of our soul as much as a meaningful prayer when engaged in consistently.” (3)

Rest

Many leaders find it hard to take regular time off. The demands of their job, the joy of feeling needed, and the unexpected crises or tendencies of workaholism can make it hard to pull away from the demands of work.

To combat this, the ancient Jewish people instituted a practice called sabbath. More than a day off, the sabbath is a specific and intentional time to rejuvenate and recharge emotionally and spiritually.

This rest includes the need for extended vacation days as well. Workers operating under increasingly stressful conditions are taking what seems to be a smart approach by working more to meet demand. The problem is that the increased workload does not equal increased productivity. In the law of diminishing return, and most studies show this, maximum productivity happens somewhere around 30-35 hours.

Operating in a job of high demand and need it’s easy to feel needed and guilty for taking time off. But a refusal to take time off can exacerbate the problem of burnout. In addition to regular Sabbath rest, leaders must use their full allotment of vacation time. This is not happening, as a 2019 study found. (4)

Staying Spiritually Fit

Spirituality can be a tough subject to talk about. The common American mantra to not talk about politics and religion has hurt our public decorum. Smart employers, and high-capacity leaders, remain vigilant in their quest for staying healthy in all areas of life.

This includes spiritual health, however, the leader defines that.

In future posts, we’ll continue to intertwine areas of health and explore how creative outputs like hobbies contribute to a well-rounded leader.

How do you remain spiritually healthy?


The Wrap Up

If you or someone you know is facing burnout, please get help. Email me to set up your first appointment.

Looking for more ways to fight against burnout? Here are 50 self-care tips.

 Want the entire series as a Kindle book? Go here.


Sources:

(1). Source: Ferguson, Jane K., Eleanor W. Willemsen, and MayLynn V. Castañeto. 2010. Centering prayer as a healing response to everyday stress: A psychological and spiritual process. Pastoral Psychology 59 (3) (06): 305-29.

Original Study: Percept Group. (2004). Ministry Area Profile 2004 Compass Report for Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 219 Bean Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030, Study Area Definition: Custom Polygon 1990–2004. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA: Percept Group.

(2). Source: Foster, Richard J. “The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to Liberation.” Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 1. Rev. 1st ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

(3). Source: Rima, Samuel D. “Spiritual Self Leadership.” Leading from the Inside Out: The Art of Self-leadership, 138. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000.

(4) Source: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/unused-vacation-days-trnd/index.html

 

Blog Post Cover Photo. An anthill with ants and overlay text that says everything has consequences

Recently, I took my oldest son on a two-day camping trip. It was the start of his milestone ceremonies as he transitions to manhood. Our theme this time was, “Everything has consequences.”

Milestone Ceremonies

I am designing these milestone ceremonies to happen at significant moments in his biological development. At each age and stage of life, he will discover more responsibility and insights into his plan and ultimate objective into life. It’s like an extended “coming of age” ceremony.

  • 8 – Pre-Puberty.
  • 12 – Puberty
  • 16 – Driving and Freedoms Blog Post Cover Photo. An anthill with ants and overlay text that says everything has consequences
  • 18 – Adulthood and Goals
  • 21 – Final Milestone Ceremony

Each of these trips is designed to teach him something about the way the world works, his capacity as a man, and what it means to live a life of service and dedication to others.

This first trip, happening at a primitive campground in the high desert of California, was raising him to the awareness of his body, the changes that will happen, and to start him thinking about planning his future choices.

He was (partly) responsible for packing appropriate things, and helped me set up and tear down camp. We also learned a bit about how to make a fire, hunt animal tracks. pay attention to our surroundings, and emergency medical and hazard situations.

In the heat of the Friday afternoon sun, we were blessed with what became our theme, somewhat unexpectedly.

The idea stuck: everything has consequences.

The Results of Our Choices

Underneath the hot afternoon sun, we spent time watching an ant colony work. Suddenly, two dozen beetles came and landed near the colony. Instantly, the ants swarmed and started attacking the beetles. The beetles, encumbered by the swarm of ants, tried to escape. Some were successful. Others were quickly dispatched and stuffed down the hole of the ant colony.

In the middle of our observation, Jackson turned to me and said, “Dad, are you for team beetle or team ant?”

“I dunno. I’m just interested in watching and seeing what happens. I want both to win.”

As we sat there in silence a few more minutes, I started our conversation.

In life, everything has consequences. That’s not a bad thing. Consequences don’t have to be bad. They are just the result of what we choose to do. What happens if we help all the ants kill the beetles?

All the beetles lose their lives. Justin and Jackson camping

Right. And what happens if we help the beetles escape?

The ants have nothing to eat.

Correct. You will make choices that affect other people. In fact, every choice you make has an effect on something. Be sure you make choices you can live with, morally, ethically, and practically.

As he sat there in silence for a few more minutes, he finally muttered. “Huh. Everything has consequences.”

Building a Life of Choices

The life you’re living today is a result of the choices you’ve made along the way.

Good, bad, or indifferent, you are exactly where you should be because of the choices you’ve made so far.

The great thing is, if you don’t like where you’re at, you can make different choices.

Chart a new path.

Create a new outcome.

Change direction.

Channel different energy.

Just because this is where you are, doesn’t mean this is where you have to end up.

Your story is not over.

If you’re ready to make new choices, I’d love to be a part of your story and help you make a new destiny.

Just remember: everything has consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

Attend the 2021 Overcomers Conference

Building With Purpose Conference Cover Art

 

The Overcomer Conference is less than a month away and here are five reasons you should attend this year’s Building With Purpose Conference.

1) It’s Designed with YOU in Mind.

Let’s start off with one of the best things about the conference: it’s designed with you, the participant, in mind.

We’ve thought of everything in this year’s speaker lineup.

We talk through all issues of personal and business success.

  • Sustained High Performance
  • Burnout Prevention and Recovery
  • Human Resources
  • Finances
  • Marketing
  • Health and Wellness
  • Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health
  • Employee Engagement and Retention
  • Coaching
  • And more!

If you are a business owner or a key decision-maker, this is the conference for you to attend this year. In one, completely online conference, you’ll get answers to your most pressing questions.

2.) The Depth of Material

Last year’s conference was a huge success. We helped lead the way as the world was transitioning to a work from home model.

This year is no different.

Experts in a variety of fields have lined up to bring you the best from leading-edge

Dr. Chris Brooks - Building WIth Purpose 2021

 neuroscience, team building and culture, personal development, and entrepreneurship.

For example, one of our speakers is Dr. Chris Brooks.

 Chris is the head of a venture capital firm helping BIPOC entrepreneurs gain investing in the tech space.

One of the amazing things about Chris is his story. In his interview, he shares how he went from prison to CEO and landing a 50 million dollar investment in the first quarter of 2021.

He also shares his go-to LinkedIn strategy that has helped him land over 5,000 warm contacts that include some of the leading CEO’s from American business.

3) You Will Maximize Your Influence

What if 2020 was meant to teach you lifelong lessons of transformation?

What if your biggest fear should not be, “What if this happens again?” but “How do I implement the lessons of change from this last year?”

Micaeh Tice Building With Purpose 2021

It’s those burning questions that we answer at this year’s conference.

As a business owner or leader, you care. About your community. You care about your employees. You have a heart for the business. And ultimately, you care about remaining healthy through it all.

That’s our desire as well.

Our panel of experts believes in your greatness and in your ability to lead. They are here to support you and guide you so that you can take everything from 2020 and use it to skyrocket up the ladder of success.

4.) It’s all about small business.

Last year, one organization held a virtual conference for small business owners.

There was only one problem: their speakers were all from large businesses.

The conference organizers were completely out of touch. Michael Roberts Building With Purpose Conference 2021

This is not the case with the Building With Purpose Conference.

It’s hosted by a small-business owner.

The conference speakers are all small business owners.

The target demographic is those who own and work in American-run small businesses.

You have a heart for small businesses.

Attending the conference not only supports small business owners, but it also grows your own small business (whatever stage it is in).

5.) A Chance at FREE Coaching

Still on the fence about attending?

Everyone who registers before the conference goes live to the public on April 1st is automatically entered to win a $2,000 coaching package with me.

That’s right.

On top of the insane value from the conference, you are automatically entered to win 12 weeks of executive coaching with me.

Ready to register? Just follow this link.

I can’t wait to see you at this year’s Building With Purpose Conference!

Episode 33 Cover Art "Elite Mental Performance"

This week on the podcast, we talk about Elite Mental Performance and what it takes to achieve lasting greatness.

It was a fun interview because the tables have been turned! In this week of the Bakersfield Business Mastermind, Scott and Juanita interview me. Episode 33 Cover Art "Elite Mental Performance"

During this interview, we talk about the secrets to high performance, sustained excellence, how to avoid burnout, and integrating work and life.

 

Some key takeaways:

  • Focus on the big rocks
  • Daily, repeatable habits are the foundation to success.
  • You’ve made it through 100% of whatever life has thrown at you (so you’ll make it through the next challenge).
  • Success can be defined however you want, make it meaningful.
  • Do something that gets you out of bed with energy and passion every morning.

About Justin

If you’re new to the podcast, welcome!

My name is Justin, and I’m an Elite-Mindset and success coach. Throughout my career, I’ve been a pastor, educator, and serial entrepreneur. I help entrepreneurs, business owners, and world changers attain elite mental peformance through burnout prevention, habits, and compounding daily wins.

About the Mastermind

The Bakersfield Mastermind is a collaboration between Dr.’s Scott Thor and Juanita Web.

To hear Scott’s interview, go here.

Listen hear Juanita’s interview, go here.

To watch video replays, go here.

 

Want to connect with Justin and reach your own full potential and elite mental performance? Email him.

Team doing puzzle with Increasing Creativity text over top

As a leader, one of the things you’re responsible for is increasing the creativity for you and your team.

Settling on Solutions

As leaders, our natural disposition can be to settle on solutions. That’s leadership, right? We know the problem, tackle the solution, and keep pushing forward.

Not necessarily.

In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Leaders who are expected to know and have all the answers create two primary problems.

First, they limit the effectiveness and full potential of their teams.

Second, they are subject to burnout.

Because of this, a large part of great leadership is not just about providing answers but creating an environment where our team can come up with better ones. Increacsing creativity happens thorugh an intentional delay.  Team doing puzzle with Increasing Creativity text over top

Instead of seeking answers to questions like, “What’s probable?” as a question like, “What’s possible?”

Creativity is about “What’s Possible”

One of the necessary shifts in leadership thinking is to encourage and facilitate questions around what’s possible.

Instead of moving to solution-oriented ideas and tasks, entertain possibilities of the wild and extravagant.

  • Imagine a customer writing your business praising you for your new product that helped them. What did they say, feel, or experience? Once you know what that end destination is, then you can work backwards to create the product you just visualized.
  • Pretend a new company pops up and exploits your weaknesses, what would they do? Now that you know your biggest weaknesses, you can discover new ways to beat them.
  • Plan how you would operate your business if you were operating at ten times your current profit margin. Once you are aware of that, continue the discovery processes by dreaming up those new products and services. Start testing those and implement big change.

Increasing Creativity

Implementing a creative making process for your team or organization benefits everyone.

The team will be more productive.

Your customers will have a better experience.

The community will experience greater blessing.

You will have less stress and more productivity.

However the process looks for you, take time to implement that creative process time

  • Bring together multiple disciplines.
  • Research seemingly unrelated fields or areas of interest.
  • Study the competition.
  • Hire a coach.

 

Want to work with me to increase your teams productivity? Contact me here.

Looking for more ways to stay inspired? Follow me on YouTube.

Whatever you do, don’t be too quick to settle on solutions. Look for what’s possible, not just what’s probable. Listen to those around you and look for new ways of doing things.