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Leadership Development 1, Requirement 5

Using the information you have learned in this course, what do you feel makes a person an effective leader in ADF? (minimum 200 words)

Not long ago, I remember reading another local Pagan's statement on leadership. His theory was that we (meaning those who are leaders of groups, or clergy) were born into the role of leader, ordained as leaders by the gods themselves, and that it was our job to decide where to lead others.

I admit, this has never been my vision of leadership in spirituality. It is more like the blind leading the blind through a process of discussion and mutual determination: sure, I may often be the one at the front of the line, but that does not mean that I set direction or the best course. It is a great experiment that many of us participate in, and every voice must be heeded equally.

Self-examination is probably the most critical of all skills that a leader can have, particularly if that person is an ADF Priest: we must be able to have an honest dialogue with ourselves about what we are doing and why we are making those decisions. We also need to be able to comprehend when "enough is enough" and we've crossed the line into "too much," ad then have the wherewithal to recognize and return to a place of balance and moderation before it becomes an issue for ourselves and the rest of the organization. It also tells us that we are cogs in the machine that is ADF: we are not more important than other cogs, but we are also no less important.

I also think that strong communication skills and an ability to see the best in people: never assuming offense and always operating in a conscious effort to avoid offending others are two key things that leaders in ADF must do. This does not mean that we should be less honest, or that we should ignore problem people, but it does mean that we need to understand that the person we're speaking about is someone who can be hurt, and that we should understand that insults are better ignored than responded to in most cases.

Vision is vital, as well: knowing where you fit within the Org and what sorts of effects your actions will have on others plays very heavily into the above items, and helps us to work better with others.

I think that anyone with the notion to join an organization like ADF has excellent potential as a leader: we're an organization that attracts leaders. As a result, getting all those independently-minded and strong-willed individuals working in the same direction is often like herding cats. Still, it can be done, and it will be done better and better as we go forward.


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