Introduction to Ignatian Leadership resources

“And on this journey something happened to him which it will be good to have written, so that people can understand how Our Lord used to deal with this soul: a soul that was still blind, though with great desires to serve him as far as its knowledge went.”
[Au 14]

This website is designed for Ignatian leaders, for people with responsibility within Ignatian institutions. It is important to note that “Ignatian” refers to the wider Jesuit family (lay collaborators, member of other orders, Jesuit, etc.), not to the figure of Ignatius of Loyola, one of the founders of this order.  We invite you to read the following two documents to get in touch with the journey ahead.

Responsible Leadership

Today there is a call for a new kind of leadership, one that puts responsibility on the individual to develop interiorly and improve our institutions and, therefore, our societies

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Capacity for a Purpose

We do not aim to build leadership capacity for the sake of leadership, we believe in developing leadership capacity in service of a higher purpose

Based on Sound Values

By balancing learning from the best practices of the managerial world while remaining authentic to the Ignatian tradition and to Christian Values 

Guided by Discernment

We believe that this type of leadership will only come about if individuals can develop a discerning attitude in life. A way of being guided by the Spirit

Guide for the resources – how to use the documents

A story to tell and a heart to open

“For it is not so much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but rather the intimate feeling and relishing of things.”
Spiritual Exercises 2

You will read short passages from the Ignatian tradition and the Bible that will catch our attention, inspire you, and invite you to connect with a concrete topic.

Reflections start inviting you to take three steps:

I ask for what I desire as we begin this topic

I pray that my entire being become open to God’s grace

I imagine these texts being addressed to me, and note my response

 

 

 

Moving from Reflection to Action

“I do not want you to be devout and spiritual only when you celebrate Mass or when you are in prayer; I want you to be spiritual and devout when you devote yourself to an activity, so that in your very works there will radiate a full force of the spirit, of grace, and of devotion.”
Jerome Nadal

​These documents offer an exercise linked to the topic of the section that takes you from reflection to action. But we do this being contemplative of what we do, or as Fr. Nadal exhorts us, by being “contemplatives in action”.

The purpose of these practices is to help you develop capacities, competencies, and skills to better fulfil your mission. In some cases you will be asked to do these exercises individually and in other cases you will be invited to do it with colleagues and teams members.

Building strong “learning” foundations

“For we are convinced that in this way greater service will be given by making progress in learning and virtues.”
Const. 308

Ignatius of Loyola put a lot of emphasis on Jesuits developing the knowledge necessary to fulfil their mission, he called them “letras” or “learnings” in English. These documents offer a theoretical input summarising insights from academic experts. It complements the previous two documents and will generally include the following sections:

 

  • ​Introduction: a summary of the subject
  • Main ideas: the relevant insights of the subject at hand
  • Ignatian Note: a link between the topic and the teachings of the Ignatian tradition
  • Key learnings and outcomes: the fruits that you would have hopefully gained with this document

Striving for the Magis

“…we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created”
Spiritual Exercises 23

Ignatius always asked us what more can we do for the greater glory of God. The “resources” documents allow you to do more on each of the topics.

The reflection, exercise, and input documents offer the most important aspects of a topic but are limited. In some areas you will find yourself in need of doing more. For this reason we have compiled a  list of resources in case you want to deepen more on a certain topic of your interest.

The resources will be divided between Ignatian resources and general resources. For some of them we will provide the document itself and for others that have copyrights you will be given a link to a third party website.

1 – KNOWING

Theories / Models / Frameworks / Mindsets

What we know and most importantly “how we know” and make meaning

 

2 – DOING

Skills / Competencies / Techniques

Focusing on necessary practical elements we need to fulfil the mission

 

3 – BEING

Transformation / Values / Beliefs

Developing integrity, values, character, and authenticity

A story to tell and a heart to open

“For it is not so much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but rather the intimate feeling and relishing of things.”
Spiritual Exercises 2

You will read short passages from the Ignatian tradition and the Bible that will catch our attention, inspire you, and invite you to connect with a concrete topic.

Reflections start inviting you to take three steps:

  • I ask for what I desire as we begin this topic
  • I pray that my entire being become open to God’s grace
  • I imagine these texts being addressed to me, and note my response

 

 

 

Moving from Reflection to Action

“I do not want you to be devout and spiritual only when you celebrate Mass or when you are in prayer; I want you to be spiritual and devout when you devote yourself to an activity, so that in your very works there will radiate a full force of the spirit, of grace, and of devotion.”
Jerome Nadal

​These documents offer an exercise linked to the topic of the section that takes you from reflection to action. But we do this being contemplative of what we do, or as Fr. Nadal exhorts us, by being “contemplatives in action”.

The purpose of these practices is to help you develop capacities, competencies, and skills to better fulfil your mission. In some cases you will be asked to do these exercises individually and in other cases you will be invited to do it with colleagues and teams members.

Building strong “learning” foundations

“For we are convinced that in this way greater service will be given by making progress in learning and virtues.”
Const. 308

Ignatius of Loyola put a lot of emphasis on Jesuits developing the knowledge necessary to fulfil their mission, he called them “letras” or “learnings” in English. These documents offer a theoretical input summarising insights from academic experts. It complements the previous two documents and will generally include the following sections:

 

  • ​Introduction: a summary of the subject
  • Main ideas: the relevant insights of the subject at hand
  • Ignatian Note: a link between the topic and the teachings of the Ignatian tradition
  • Key learnings and outcomes: the fruits that you would have hopefully gained with this document

Striving for the Magis

“…we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created”
Spiritual Exercises 23

Ignatius always asked us what more can we do for the greater glory of God. The “resources” documents allow you to do more on each of the topics.

The reflection, exercise, and input documents offer the most important aspects of a topic but are limited. In some areas you will find yourself in need of doing more. For this reason we have compiled a  list of resources in case you want to deepen more on a certain topic of your interest.

The resources will be divided between Ignatian resources and general resources. For some of them we will provide the document itself and for others that have copyrights you will be given a link to a third party website.

1 – KNOWING

Theories / Models / Frameworks / Mindsets

What we know and most importantly “how we know” and make meaning

 

2 – DOING

Skills / Competencies / Techniques

Focusing on necessary practical elements we need to fulfil the mission

 

3 – BEING

Transformation / Values / Beliefs

Developing integrity, values, character, and authenticity

Learning modules

The content you will find in this website goes along 4 different modules, the first will focus on the development of one’s personal resources, the second will put emphasis on the interpersonal relationships within the organisation (or unit) for which they are responsible, the third will focus on the dynamics of the institution as such, and its relationship with other agencies, whether under Christian and Jesuit auspices or beyond, and finally the fourth module will delve into the commitment to service at the margins, or — to use Pope Francis’s phrase — the ‘peripheries’. 

M1

Called to Leadership

A personal perspective: A focus on the Self

Leadership development is first and foremost a journey of self-development. This perspective focuses on our personal experience of leadership, including: our roles and functions, how we relate to our job, our skills and competencies, our preferred leadership styles, our perceptions of others and the world, the emotions we experience, our core values and motivations, our biases and beliefs…. Simply put, it is about growing in self-awareness of who I am and developing as a person called to leadership.

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1. Introduction - a journey into the self

Leadership is first and foremost personal development (Muff et. al.), so we start with focus on ourselves as individuals. 

Leading others starts with leading ourselves and growing our self-understanding. This includes learning more about the daily choices we make, our personal behaviour, exploring our key motivations and drivers, as well as identifying our core beliefs and the values underlying our decisions.

2. Our approach to learning

Learning, change and development can be hard for people to achieve and sustain over time. This section offers some ideas to make this possible.

The purpose of this section is to help individuals understand how adults develop and learn, and introduce our distinctive approach to learning for this programme, which is intended to overcome the challenges that many leadership development programmes face.

3. The nature of leadership work

Most leadership books focus on what leaders should do while they constantly forget to analyse what leaders really do. This section addresses this second point.

As we take the time to examine the nature and characteristics of our own work we are able to enrich our own understanding of it and we become more aware of their implications in the different dimensions of our life.

4. Leadership - tasks and roles

Leadership is visible in actions. In this section we take a step towards the analysis of the roles and tasks leaders tend to focus their attention on.

Our capacity to perform leadership and managerial roles effectively is rarely developed in a classroom. Quite on the opposite, these roles are perfected on the job, enhanced by a variety of experiences and challenges and by ongoing inquiry and reflection.

5. Leadership theories

Building awareness of the existing leadership theories will help us recognise various styles in particular situations and allow us to develop our preferred style.

This section focuses on the different leadership theories that have appeared during the last century. This list will offer you a summary of what each theory proposes and will invite to you to reflect on which one you find most compelling. In addition, there is a short insight on what leadership styles are and which exist.

6. Leadership gifts and skills

The qualities of successful leaders have been a central focus in leadership literature. We look into this vast world and analyse our own gifts for leadership.

The qualities and competencies of successful leaders have been a central focus in leadership literature. These lists exist in abundance as it was believed that by isolating leadership attributes, it will be easier to recruit individuals with these features and place them in leadership positions. However, not everything that glitters is gold.

7. Spiritual Leadership: Ignatius as a leader

We stop in our journey of self reflection to look into a key leadership figure, Saint Ignatius of Loyola. One of the founders and inspirations of the Society of Jesus.

Ignatius never talked about “leadership” per se and he gave limited insights into what would constitute a good leader. However, we can learn more about his leadership through his actions. This section analyses what Ignatius implicitly said about leadership and what experts have reflected on how he was as an individual led by the Spirit.

8. Digging deeper

We move from analysing visible aspects of the leadership work to recognize less visible influences that are behind our behaviour.

In this section you will find a framework that organises the ideas found in the previous lessons and the ones that are to come. It will help you have a broader view of our proposal of leadership development.

9. Understanding the human being

We cannot understand the leader without first understanding the human person and how he makes sense of him/herself and the world.

Files in progress

10. Value-based leadership

Interest in value-based and authentic leadership theories emerged when other models were seen to bring deception and exploitation. Here we focus on values.

Leader centered models can easily result in narcissism, authoritarianism, flawed and self-serving vision, power abuse, and dependency if they are not grounded in moral foundations. In this section we suggest shifting the focus on the role of values, ethics and morality in leadership development to restore hope and confidence in leaders and organisations

11. Emotional intelligence

Leader centered models can easily result in narcissism, authoritarianism, flawed and self-serving vision, power abuse, and dependency if they are not grounded in moral foundations. In this section we suggest shifting the focus on the role of values, ethics and morality in leadership development to restore hope and confidence in leaders and organisations.

This section focuses on the theory of Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis around emotional intelligence. It has to do with developing familiarity with our emotions and being able to manage them. Developing this dimension of our being is relevant if we want to sustain our leadership across time.

12. Source of vitality

This section is to talk about that experience which gives life and how we can live a purposeful life. In the Christian tradition this experience has to do with our own relation to God and Jesus.

Our workplaces, homes and institutions are generally motivated by the desires and choices which lead to human flourishing. It is in the arena of deepest desire, choices and action that mission finds its meaning and it is essential that we, as leaders can tap into that. (Duncan & Scroope)

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M2

Leadership For and With Others

An interpersonal perspective: A focus on the Team

Leadership development inherently carries a relational dimension where every individual called to leadership interacts, develops and performs in relation with others (team, direct authority, stakeholders, beneficiaries…). In this perspective, the learning experience focuses on our abilities to fulfil our mission and tasks by leading for and with others, connecting and mobilizing them through communication, empathy, emotional intelligence conflict management, delegation, feedback, teamwork, …

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1. Introduction - interpersonal dimension

The process of leadership development continues and moves the focus from the self to the other, concretely, our direct team and how do we inspire them for mission

While there are many things that a leader can do alone, fruitful and purpose-driven leadership relies on understanding and collaborating with others. In this context, the process of leadership development continues and moves from the focus on the individual to relationships with others.

2. Relations: mutuality and power

Power and influence are at the heart of all our interactions, especially in leadership work. The question is not if it exists but rather how do we relate to it and how we use it.

Taking the time to consider the implicit power dynamics in the relations we have will help us better understand ourselves and others and interact in more mutual ways.

3. The basics of interpersonal communication

The principle medium of exercising leadership is communications.  However, communicating successfully is not easy, and intentionally developing communication as a “practice” is key.

In the Spanish version of Ignatius’ book of the Exercises, the formulation of “Love consists in sharing” is “El Amor consiste en comunicación” in other words: “Love consists in communication”, in “mutual confiding”.

4. EQ and resonant communication

This section highlights the importance of understanding and managing not only our emotions but also those of others, in service of building resonant relationships and fulfilling the mission.

Learning to notice if our communication serves as an edifying tool that brings life to others will help us grow in our leadership capacity. To do this we must put focus in our ability to detect our emotions and the emotions of others in each interaction. Do you think you are able to do this?

5. Diversity & cultural awareness

Building awareness of differences across cultures is at the center of effective interpersonal communication. Learning ‘to care for’ other cultures will be the focus of this section.

Growing our capacity to relate, work together and communicate in a safe and respectful way across cultures takes practice. It also supposes an attitude of humility, patience, charity and discernment so that we recognise and rejoice in the richness of our own culture and remain open to the gifts of others.

6. Working with others

As individuals come together (whether in teams or working groups), they form an integrated whole that possesses an identity of its own, apart from the identity of its individual members.

We start exploring the key elements for understanding the functioning and dynamics of teams and groups as well as optimising both relationships and performance within these structures for the fruits in our organisations and the accomplishment of our mission.

7. Teams

Building a performing and cohesive team is one of the key roles of leadership. How do we help teams come together, function properly, address any potential dysfunction and achieve their mission?

Teams are organised around a small number of people with various views, perspectives and skills who decide to come together, setting aside their individual interests, and supporting each other to achieve a common purpose and goal for which they are mutually accountable (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

8. Group dynamics

Identifying the way groups interact will help us develop further our leadership capacity. This section focuses on group dimensions, roles, cohesiveness, discernment and much more.

Group dynamics are behavioural patterns and psychological processes that occur within a group or between groups that describe the way groups and individuals act and react to changing circumstances.

9. Collaboration

What does it mean being men and women “for” and “with” others? What implications does it have for leadership? This sections focuses on collaboration and how it deepens identity.

Teams are organised around a small number of people with various views, perspectives and skills who decide to come together, setting aside their individual interests, and supporting each other to achieve a common purpose and goal for which they are mutually accountable (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

10. Understand conflict

We have different ways of seeing the world, believes, opinions, and thoughts which creates friction and can generate conflict. Understanding and learning how to deal with it should be our priority.

Addressing conflict efficiently will increase our chances of transforming a potentially harmful struggle into a growth opportunity both for ourselves and others. In this section you will learn the dangers and opportunities of dealing with conflict and also in understanding our different styles in handling it.

11. Mobilising for mission

How do we get others ready to fulfil their mission and the one of their organisation better? To address this important question, in this section, you will find a list of recommended practices and exercises

The topic of Leadership For and With Others includes many practical topics that can be very helpful to mobilise individuals and teams for mission. Open the link below and choose the topic that suits best your current leadership needs (delegation, listening, giving feedback, etc.).

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M3

Called to Life in Organisations

An organizational perspective: A focus on the Process

The question of how we move with others from where we are towards where we want to go is inevitably related to the organisational means that we have at our disposal and how we will use them. A fruitful and efficient leadership rests on our ability to build and structure our organizations properly, to manage systems, processes and resources as tools for our work (planning, resource management, decision-making, results…). We are called to life in organisations by developing them to fulfill their mission.

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1. Introduction - a journey into the self

We enter the domain where leadership meets organisational development, administration, and governance.

We enter the domain where leadership meets organisational development, administration, and governance. This section proposes that our organisations should be a means to pursue an end, to fulfil the mission entrusted to us.

2. Communal discernment

Discernment is the way to live in the midst of a changing world. It has to be communal, for no single person can control everything

3. Decision making

Making good decisions is not always easy. In this section you will learn about the typical biases in decision making that leaders tend to make.

In this section you will learn about a model for decision making but focus mainly on the idea of cognitive biases and how they intercept our capacity of making rational decisions.

4. Mission, vision, values

In this section you will reflect on the philosophy behind your mission and vision statements and the values that guide your institution.

Are you able to say out loud what the mission, vision, and values? You would be surprised to know that many people are not able to do so. Why is this the case? The following section will help you come up with these concepts for your institution in a way that they are easy to recall.

5. Strategic planning

Strategic planning is the process of defining a set of actions that will help our institution/unit move towards the fulfilment of our organisation’s mission.

Strategy is the pattern in a stream of decisions that aims to make a reality the mission and vision of our organisation – Henry Mintzberg

6. Marketing

Marketing is about understanding people. It is about putting others in the center of your institution and offering a good service.

Marketing is about understanding people. It is about putting others in the center of your institution.

7. Financial management

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are” (J.W. Frick). This section looks into the basics of financial management

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

8. Human Resources Management

The Human Resource Department is primarily concerned with the management of people within organisations. In this section you will learn about the Employment Cycle specifically.

“He who is not good for the world is certainly not good for the Society either” – Pedro de Ribadineira

9. Organisation structures

This sections is a reflection on the main ideas behind organisational structures, concretely on the ideas of organisational configurations by Henry Mintzberg.

Organisational configuration theory helps determining how institutions organise themselves based on their nature, coordinating mechanisms, and their goals.

10. Networking (pending)

THIS SECTION IS BEING REVISED BY EXPERTS

11. Organisation culture

In this section we analyse the values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation – Needle (2004).

“In biological terms, culture is like the DNA of an organization, invisible to the naked eye, but critical to shaping its behavior” (Trompenaars 1993)

12. Change management

Why do 90% of institutions go through major changes each year but only around 20% say that they are successful in this endeavour? 

In this section we will look into one of the models to lead change inside an organisation that focuses on 7 key steps that range from understanding the need for change to consolidating the desired change.

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M4

Leadership at the Peripheries

A contextual perspective: A focus on Frontier Mission

This perspective takes into consideration our reality and the context where leadership work is being exercised. It focuses on the ever-changing environment where we are operating and the growing needs and challenges of our vulnerable and complex world, needs that are calling for new adaptive responses from our side: connecting with the mission, exercising our work at the frontiers, in places of crisis and uncertainty, putting creativity and innovation in service of our mission, meeting others in their vulnerabilities…

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1. Introduction - the frontiers

In this section you will find what it means leadership for frontier mission. We try to answer questions like where are we called to go and serve, where are we called to imagine a better world.

“When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.” Peter-Hans Kolvenbach SJ. After addressing important issues on the self, the other, and the collective, we are send out into a broken world. Where are we called to go as the “wounded healers” that we are?

2. Understanding the context

If the Society of Jesus was founded for the service of the world, we must do what is in our capacity to understand this world so we can address it properly. 

Our organisations nowadays deal with global complexity and uncertainty on an unprecedented scale. Radical changes are transforming the world and reshaping our understanding and expectations of leadership. In this section we delve into the basics of these contexts through the analysis of the VUCA Theory.

3. Leadership in turbulent times

As the world changes, organizations are asked to manage increasingly complex problems for which they generally do not have pre-established solutions. What can we do in these situations?

Success in a the world we live no longer hinges on one individual heroic performance or inappropriate expectations of authority but on the capacity to handle complexity and mobilise others in collective processes of inquiry and adaptation.

4. Aadaptive leadership

Exercising leadership is the art of mobilising a group of people to do adaptive work for the greater good (Ronald Heifetz)

Do you know the differences between technical problems and adaptive challenges? Do you know how to differentiate them? Are you aware of the theory proposed by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky on Adaptive Leadership? If your answer is not “yes” to these questions, this section is for you.

5. Theory U

Moving from “what leaders do” to “how they do it” to finally reach what is the “interior condition” or inner place from which leaders operate (their consciousness).

Our world is currently facing crises at various levels. Many structures are falling apart and a new world is emerging. Surviving this complexity requires adopting new modes of thoughts, tuning our collective instruments and adapting our mindsets to a deeper level of operating (Otto Scharmer et al.)

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Sections under development

6. FREEDOM AND INDIFFERENCE

7. THE CALL TO ACTION

8. LIVING THE MISSION

P&E

Practices and Exercises

Helpful practices for your daily work as leaders

For the leadership work you will need tools to deal with the difficulties of managing your organisations. In this section you are invited to take these practices and exercises and use them accordingly to your needs. Most of them are referenced throughout the modules but they can be used individually. The goal is to integrate them in your daily life so they become a routine. Repetition is key!

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Integration

The following practices are useful throughout all the modules and they deserve a relevant place in this section because they help integrate the learning of the different parts of this website. They help us move from 4 separate modules to 1 comprehensive theory 

Called to leadership

Title
A Day in the Life of – Analysing Movies
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Action Inquiry
1 file(s) 8 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Ladder of Inference
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Learning from Failure
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Meditation on Leadership
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Perspective Taking (Handout)
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Profiling tools – Big 5 Model
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Profiling tools – Enneagram
1 file(s) 8 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Profiling tools – Global Leadership Profile (Handout)
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Profiling tools – MBTI
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Profiling tools
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Real Life Leaders
1 file(s) 9 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Reflection on leadership theories & styles
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Triple Loop Awareness
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Values Exercise
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Wheel of Life
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Working with our Shadow
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to leadership, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises

Leadership with and for others

Title

Called to life in organisations

Title
PESTEL Analysis
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
SWOT Analysis
1 file(s) 9 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Employment Cycle – Questions
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
In the last 30 days… (Dan Ariely)
1 file(s) 7 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Marketing Mix – Table 7Ps
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Mars Group Values Exercise
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Organisational Agility Assessment
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Organisational Culture Template
1 file(s) 6 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises
Organizational Behaviors – Survey
1 file(s) 8 downloads
Called to life in organisations, English, Ignatian Leadership, Practices and Exercises

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