Shadows and Light
Shadows and Light

One of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs (YouTube) begins: Every picture has its shadows And it has some source of light Blindness, blindness and sight… When I talk about leadership qualities, I find that many of the qualities can be either strengths or weaknesses—or somewhere on a continuum between the two—depending both on the intensity of the personality and the dynamics of the situation. Here are a few examples:

Self Confident…………..Arrogant

Good leaders need to be clear in their mission and their direction, but they also have to be open to other possibilities.

Knowledgeable about the Organization…………..Micro-Managing

Good leaders have a good “birds-eye” view of the organization and how it operates and where it is headed, but they also need to empower others to use their own creativity to work out the details.

Responsible…………..Over Functioning

Good leaders don’t just take all the responsibility upon themselves; they empower other leaders so that everyone can be a part of making the mission a reality.


Good leaders don’t teach others how to be carbon copies of themselves, they help other emerging leaders find their own leadership style and to work with their own strengths and weaknesses. It is important that we learn how to not be blind to the shadow sides of our leadership qualities, and to find our own source of inner light so that we can transform our weak spots into new strengths.

About the Author

  • Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. She serves congregation in Northeast Ohio and Western New York. She is part of the LeaderLab Design team providing Leadership Development resources and other trainings to congregations.

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