Leadership, Vision, & Reflection: Applying Ignatian Concepts to Develop Transformational Leaders with a Select Application to Sustainability

David W. Arnesen
June 1, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
14 pages
leadership, sustainability, Ignatian, reflection, discernment
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Jesuit business schools have an obligation to develop ethical transformational leaders who seek a just and humane world. Whether it is addressing the needs of social justice or leading change to advance sustainability, these institutions have a unique ability to apply Ignatian concepts in developing responsible leaders. This article examines these concepts, including the insight of reflection, the gift from empowering others, the strength from building trust, and the rewards of silent servant leadership to help others rise.

In examining the “modeling” of successful leaders, we will look at how the transparency of leadership is essential to lead change in areas such as social justice and sustainability. We will consider, for example, how Jesuitvalued education can fill the void of effective environmental leadership with regard to sustainability. We will establish the case that Jesuit schools are in a unique position to develop these leadership skills to facilitate this necessary environmental dialogue. Thus, in reflecting on the philosophy of developing leadership, we will see how Ignatian principles can form the core foundation for building great leaders.

Finally, this article looks to the future of Jesuit business school education. What are the changes necessary in teaching leadership to advance social justice and lead sustainability change? What reflection on Ignatian concepts must faculty and administration pursue so that Jesuit business schools are at the forefront of leadership? We will conclude the “modeling” of leaders with how our institutions can foster principled leadership within every student through the application of Ignatian concepts.