Dear Forum Members and Guests,
Editor Suzanne Kelly just announced The UAI Journal's most recent issue. Below are its table of contents and Suzanne's intro. Take this link to view all the articles, photos and graphics: UAI Journal
Table of Contents:
- Teamwork—Where do We See Ourselves as a Group of Pioneer Religionists for the Fifth Epoch? - Kathleen Swadling, Australia
- Editorial - Suzanne Kelly, USA
- Discussion of Group Dynamics and Leadership as it Relates to the Conference Experience - David Linthicum, USA
- The True Value of Study Groups - Shelia Keen Lund, USA
- Our Call—a New Revelation - Preston Thomas, USA
Greetings fellow UAI Journal readers,
In this issue of the Journal we will focus on Leadership in recognition of the upcoming Leadership Symposium in Chicago 13-17 July 2011. The word Leadership itself connotes several emotional reactions in everyone. With each mention of the word leadership we question ourselves and our individual ability to lead. We question our comfort in leading, our place in a leadership role—regardless of the circumstances wherein the need to lead arises. Leadership can take on many forms, however a crisis is not necessary for a leader to appear or leadership skills to develop. But the philosophy of any leadership act is defined by 2 venues; Transactional or Transformational. Although there are multiple definitions for each I will list only one.
Transactional leadership exchanges rewards and promises for our effort. Is responsive to our immediate self interests if they can be met by getting the work done.
Transformational leadership, builds on the need for meaning and is preoccupied with purposes, values, morals and ethics, while orienting long term goals without compromising those principles. In the outworking of a revelation, I feel Transformational leadership should be the main philosophy, only tapping into the transactional structure when the foundation has been laid and the dynamic purpose has been identified.
The idea of transformational leadership was first developed by James McGregor Burns in 1978 and later extended by Prof. Bernard Bass as well as others. Neither Burns nor Bass studied schools or an educational environment, but rather based their work on political leaders, Army officers, or business executives. Although there have been few studies of such leadership in schools or education and the definition of transformational leadership is still vague, evidence shows that there are similarities in transformational leadership whether it is in a school setting or a business environment.
One of the best descriptions of transformational leadership has been penned by Prof. Bernard Bass, a renowned exponent of the idea. He says succinctly; “Leaders are truly transformational when they increase awareness of what is right, good, important and beautiful, when they help to elevate followers’ needs for achievement and self-actualization, when they foster in followers high moral maturity, and when they move followers to go beyond their self-interests for the good of their group, organization or society.” The Dalai Lama is an outstanding example of transformational leadership.
Our first contributor Kathleen Swadling in her presentation on Teamwork given at the Canberra Conference, clearly recognizes the cohesive agent necessary for a successful mission and one that is synergistic to the transformational leadership philosophy. Kathleen maps the terrain and the destination when she asks “How do we see ourselves as a group of pioneer religionists who follow the teachings of The Urantia Book…? How many of us have felt the call to service by this passage:” The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. [Paper 2:7, page 43:3]
Every time I read this quote I a stirred to participate as well as contribute something! I love a challenge.
Our second article A Discussion of Group Dynamics, by David Linthicum, examines the teamwork energy required for any group or philosophy to succeed. “The whole universe is exquisitely organized with provisions for leadership at every level from Paradise on down to the local universes. It is said that when two are assigned a task in the universe adventure one among them is assigned as the leader.” How exciting to know there will be opportunity after opportunity for us to hone our leadership skills throughout the eternal adventure of finding God.
Our third contributor Sheila Keene-Lund has found the value of the essential mechanism that turns the wheel of progress for the revelation in her essay The True Value of Study Groups. Shelia further defines our goals stating “There are no short cuts or easy paths in this journey. In the short term, progress supported in the hearts and minds of every member will be reflected in our increased capacity for love, the health and growth of our organizations, and the increasing number of people drawn to the revelation.” The leadership endeavor for each of us is a simple daily act of living this philosophy.
Lastly have you heard it? Our Call—a New Revelation listen closely and you just might hear what Preston Thomas heard which prompted him to ask this thought provoking question: “How are we to find and decide upon our own ideal and best form of service? And upon rephrasing it, transforming it to the definitive call... “What service does God call us to?”
The question when spoken aloud and sincerely asked, will invoke a response in your soul and if you truly desire to lead – or serve, the moment will present itself. As…thoughts create energy, energy creates mass and mass creates reality; you reflect the image of God’s directive.
Each of these authors is led to lead and each follows the transformational philosophy in the fine-tuning of their message. And as we enjoin their ideals, the aspiration is to “listen to the message they hold out for us, and distil their leadership wisdom to our contexts” (Robert Bass, PhD.) —
Happy & enlightened reading. Suzanne Kelly
UAI Journal Archive in 4 Idioms