Tag Archives: Patrick Lencioni

Ep96 We Are Our Culture

Father Len invites us to grapple with the virtues and character we value, permit, model and promote and the effect they have on us and those around us.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Culture over time is the most important force in shaping our identity. When an entire community prizes certain things, these things just seep into our pores.
  • Our emotions and values are very infectious. They move through a community faster than a virus.
  • Change happens, for better or worse, when entire communities unite around virtues and character they value.
  • There’s undeniable proof that an individual’s character and values effect all of society.
  • We take on the values of the communities to which we belong.
  • Virtues and character that are valued by a community are inherited by the community’s children.
  • If we want to change the world, we have to change our hearts. We are the culture. We are the system.
  • What impedes us empowers us.
  • Failure and struggle cause the hero in every hero story to become a hero.
  • Grit is frequently a greater predictor of success than talent.
  • Grit or fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • You need grit to become a spiritual person.
    • It takes grit to forgive when you’ve been wounded.
    • It takes grit to become prudent and know how and when to hold your tongue.
    • It takes grit to become patient.
  • We can lose our grit when life is good.
  • Grit is like a muscle. You’re not born with it. You train yourself into it.
  • “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth
  • “Democracy in America” by Alexis De Tocqueville
  • Beatrice Webb
  • Patrick Lencioni
  • What virtues and character do you value, permit, model and promote and how do they match up with the values of the communities to which you belong and, importantly, what are you going to do if they don’t?
  • We all have a big stake in our community’s culture and the effect it has on us and those around us.

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep54 Humility is a Superpower

Father Len explains why humility is the foundation for success in life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • There is an epidemic of narcissism in our current culture fueled by social media.
  • Humility is the cure for narcissism.
  • Father Len discusses the dangers of ego and self-obsession by comparing the psyche of movie stars to people in prison.
  • Father Len shares the story of three superstars, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, who joined the Miami Heat NBA basketball team thinking winning a championship would be easy with all their talent. Turns out it wasn’t so easy until humility became a key ingredient of the team.
  • Human beings are very communal and emotions run through a community faster than a virus.
  • Because of our communal nature, it turns out that when people see other people behaving morally or immorally, it’s likely they will mirror that behavior.
  • Father Len shares the story of how tiny Butler University is able to compete and win against the much larger major powers in college basketball because of its team culture of humility.
  • “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit” – sign on former president Ronald Reagan’s desk
  • Ego destroys community because it traps people in a prison of self-obsession.
  • Humility is not low self-esteem. It’s low self-preoccupation.
  • The less we are preoccupied with thinking about ourselves the more room we have in our heads and hearts to think of others.
  • Humility helps us connect emotionally with others.
  • “Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age” by Edward D Hess & Katherine Ludwig
  • Pride causes more problems than it solves.
  • Humility is the gateway to an open mind because it allows us to process information without being defensive and reacting in fear.
  • Humility allows us to see and accept reality.
  • Humility inspires success.
  • Success in life without humility can ruin you.
  • The Bible is filled with stories about how God hates pride and arrogance and how and why humility makes us true human beings.
  • The Bible says all those in heaven have humility written across their foreheads indicating the ultimate victory belongs to the humble.
  • The proud want glory for themselves, not for the community, not for the business, not for the team, and not for God.
  • Intelligence is not just being able to think and learn, but also the ability to unlearn and rethink. That requires humility.
  • “Prayer is unlearning what the world has taught you.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • We should feel as much joy in learning that we’re wrong as we felt in learning a truth.
  • “I have this voice in my head telling me 20% of everything I think is right might be wrong.” – Father Len
  • “Seek first to understand, then seek to be understood.” – Dr Stephen R Covey
  • “Think Again: the Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant

Ep12 Spirituality without Religion

Father Len explains what’s missing in spirituality without religion in answer to a listener who asks: “Why do I need organized religion? I’m spiritual and I have a personal relationship with God.”

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • What is a “personal” relationship with God? What does it mean? Father Len explores the difference between an intimate relationship with God and a private relationship with God.
  • Father Len explains how religion satisfies the natural human need and desire for being social and how that makes an essential contribution to a spiritual life.
  • The very definition of what it means to be human is to be connected to other people.
  • We survive and thrive not only because of our intelligence, but also because we live and work as a group.
  • Religion and spirituality should make you a better human being.
  • We are more of who we are and who we are meant to be in community with other people.
  • Father Len shares an inspiring story of enemies protecting enemies during the Serbian Croatian war to illustrate the meaning, power and importance of true community.
  • Spirituality should lead you into the very essence of community.
  • Private spirituality can lead to becoming your own God.
  • Religion is like a marriage, a marriage between us and God.
  • “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni
  • Father Len explains how conflict is an important element in strong marriages and good religion.
  • Being spiritual but not religious means there is likely no one to challenge your ideas and beliefs.
  • “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez