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Competencies for Leadership

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LeaderLab

  • By Connie Goodbread
    S-H-I-F-T is a way to remember the basics of emotional systems (Self-Differientation, Homeostasis, Identified patient, emotional Familiy field, and Triagulation) and how they operatin in congregations.
  • By Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY, Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    An opportunity for new presidents to learn the basics, share some resources, and network with those moving into the role.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Congregations become "smarter" as systems as they develop feedback loops that enable the system to learn from its past successes and challenges. Here is a tool that you can use to improve your ministry as well as the experience of your volunteers.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    Our living tradition calls us to be lifelong learners, and this is especially true for our leaders. There are many skills and sensibilities that today's leaders need to help our congregations be ready for the 21st century. The UUA has many training resources to assist you!
  • By Nancy Combs-Morgan, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders understand that processes, tasks and outcomes will not necessarily be the same next week as they were, and they remain agile in approaching situations and answers to questions and issues that arise in their work with congregations; they know that they have to be continually learning and asking “is this the best way to get what we want to achieve at this time?”
  • By Dori Davenport Thexton, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders are not only financially generous (although they are that indeed!) but they have and encourage a generous spirit and appreciation of the world; they are quick to inspire others, to give of themselves as well as their time, talent and treasure, and are working to find ways to be a “permission giving” organization that empowers others to move forward with ideas that help fulfill the congregation’s mission.
  • By Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders understand that it’s not just about skills, but it’s about being able to learn (often together) what’s necessary in congregational life; they understand the difference between technical and adaptive challenges, and find themselves at ease in the discomfort of adaptive work, understanding that no one knows the answers, but that together a way can be found.
  • By Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders know that so much of congregational life is about being present to and with one another; they don’t have all the answers, but they know how to be with others through the journey of their lives, and the journey of shared congregational life.
  • By Nancy Combs-Morgan, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders know how to work and play well with others; they understand it’s not about who is right, but how people can work together to ensure the best possible outcome in both task completion and relationship building/sustaining.
  • By Phillip Lund, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders don’t need to be the hub through which everything flows, and they know how to help people come together for specific (and general) purposes; they can connect people to ideas, to each other, and to a greater whole.
  • By Nancy Combs-Morgan, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders are networked in a couple of ways — first, they are aware of how community can be created, sustained, and nurtured through the use of technology; they realize that today on-line connection serves to deepen what a congregation can offer; second, they are not afraid of technology, and know how to learn through electronic means, and are able to find what they need, or find the person who knows, what they need moving forward.
  • By Lisa Presley, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders understand that what they might want may not be what others want, and they are open to learning and understanding how the world is different for other people; they understand, too, that those who have been historically marginalized have places in our congregations, and our congregations need to expand their understanding of who is welcome in order to open wide the doors to those who find value in Unitarian Universalism.
  • By Nancy Heege, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Self-differentiated Leaders know who they are well enough that they also know where they stand, and what they will and will not do; they understand the necessity of boundaries, and work within the congregation to ensure that healthy boundaries are in place and are supported; they can be clear in who they are, without requiring others to join them in that same place, but instead to be true to their own self.
  • By Lisa Presley, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders know where their buttons are, and know how to manage their own anxiety; they recognize that anxiety serves little purpose in moving a congregation forward, and instead can lessen that anxiety and help the congregation focus on the issues involved, rather than the anxiety and fear that uncertainty can create; they are comfortable in and with ambiguity.
  • By Dori Davenport Thexton, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders know how to read people emotionally, and how to help people feel safe enough to not be driven unconsciously by emotions. Leaders help people understand how to appropriately express emotions and to use them as forces to move the congregation forward, rather than trapping them in the past.
  • By Lisa Presley, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders are aware, or becoming aware, that much in their world is based on cultural assumptions of the dominant groups, rather than simply “the way things are;” they understand that congregations must work to determine how they will be—that commonality in values is either created, discovered, or negotiated, and they are learning skills to be able to work more competently across any of the differences that make a difference.
  • By Phillip Lund, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders understand what they believe or don’t believe and are aware of their need for connection to something larger than themselves; they are aware that they need to connect with a deeper core that gives them balance, intuition, and commitment.
  • By Ian Evison, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Leaders know why they are active, and how they are seeking to make a difference in the world; they understand that congregational life is not about making people “happy,” but by knowing how the congregation is called to serve their community, and are then faithful to that calling
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    As Unitarian Universalist leaders, we need to understand the history and traditions of the movement as well as its core values and theology. The UU principles are just the tip of the iceberg of what it means to be UU.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    As religious leaders, it's important to have a "center" and a regular spiritual practice that helps us maintain that center. This not only avoids burnout, it also helps keep us focused on mission .
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Being aware of one's own emotions and how they influence judgment enables a leader to avoid being reactive when making decisions. Learning how to manage one's emotions helps a leader make decisions responsively and responsibly.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    In order to keep up with a changing world, we know that we must continually breathe new life into our congregations. Leaders need to be savvy about congregational dynamics in order to lead any significant change initiative.
  • By Sue Phillips, New England Region of the UUA
    Congregational polity is not fundamentally about autonomy or protecting individuals from spiritual coercion. This understanding repels healthy people, weakens connections among churches, and perpetuates widespread suspicion about leadership. This workshop lays groundwork for a movement wide re-covenanting process that could reunite the community of UU congregations.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Healthy and clear communication is one of the most important skills for leaders. Healthy communication is learning to "talk to each other" rather than "about each other." Clear communication about mission and goals helps the congregation be in alignment and moving in the same direction. Our congregations need a strong financial foundation to support their ministries. Good practices provide transparency and safeguard assets. Vibrant stewardship, fundraising and planned giving programs help the congregation's cashflow. LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCE AND STEWARDSHIP SKILLS TO LEAD CHANGE
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Conflict can be normal and healthy, leading to positive change and growth. Conflict can also be dysfunctional and destructive. Learn the difference between good, bad and ugly conflict.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Skills to grow other leaders include a generosity of spirit, commitment to shared ministry, identifying and developing training experiences, supporting development of new leaders.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Along with life-stage differences, there are differences in generations' mores and values based on the societal shifts they experienced during their different life stages.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    As American demographics shift toward more diversity, UU congregations need to learn to skillfully communicate across the differences that exist in our congregations as well as in our wider communities. Then we will be better equipped to understand race and privilege and help to dismantle racism.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    The role of religion and faith is changing in American life. Fewer people are interested in organized religion. How can UU leaders respond?
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Systems Thinking is a mental model where all of the parts of an organism—and organization—are interconnected and interrelated. This is foundational to understanding conflict and how to lead change.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA
    Leadership development in our congregations should be an extension of faith development. But our congregational leaders need more than...
  • Learn how the human brain is impacted by anxiety in organizations like congregations.
  • By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Pacific Western Region of the UUA
  • By David Pyle
    What is the difference between a technical challenge and an adaptive challenge? Rev. David Pyle gives a helpful example.
  • By Nancy Heege, MidAmerica Region of the UUA
    Self-differentiated Leaders know who they are well enough that they also know where they stand, and what they will and will not do; they...
  • By Connie Goodbread
    Great leaders continually examine their motives. They ask themselves, “On what principle am I taking this stand? Am I acting for the common...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    Serving on a congregational board can be both rewarding and stressful. Some stress is natural, but certain kinds of stress can lead to burn...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    In order for a congregation to reflect the global majority in its membership, its leaders must learn to model how to de-center the culture of the congregation from White identity and culture. Here are some practices to get you started.
  • Learn how to better prepare for a meeting with tips on setting up space and meeting flow.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    If meetings are to be truly meaningful and transformational, it is crucial to involve participants fully. Read eleven ways to maximize participation.
  • By James Kubal-Komoto, Pacific Western Region of the UUA
    Learn how triangulated communication increases unhealthy conflict in congregations, and how to avoid and untangle triangulated...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    As we re-imagine how to do the work of a congregation, we need to take into account that younger folks (and by "younger" I mean people under 50) are wary of making commitments without fully understanding the implications. These people want to feel like they are making a contribution that...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    Let me share a fable of two congregations. ...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    In dealing with adaptive challenges (e.g. changing demographics or attitudes toward religious institutions) congregational leaders can...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    I had just finished leading a worship service as a guest preacher. This congregation had been experiencing a gentle decline in membership...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    Once upon a time there was a congregation that wanted a mission statement. They appointed a committee that worked hard. They held cottage...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    I often use General Motors as an example of the top-down model of organization and leadership that is the opposite of what our congregations need to be nimble and vital (and I might add, attractive to Gen-Xers and Millennials). A story from Bloomberg "GM Recalls Stalled in 10 Years of Committee...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    The new year offers a new opportunity to take stock of how your congregation is serving its mission. Invite your leadership team to take...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    It was mid-afternoon and my sixth grade classmates and I were in the middle of a lesson. Suddenly, the deep voice of the principal boomed...
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    As leaders of a congregation, it may be tempting to assume everyone else has (or should have) the same level of commitment to the...

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