Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership with Ruth Haley Barton
Season 16: Episode 9 | Transforming Leadership: Spiritual Resources for the Journey

Season 16: Episode 9 | Transforming Leadership: Spiritual Resources for the Journey

June 27, 2022

We are ending this season just as we started it: with Ruth going solo behind the mic. This time, she recaps Bowen’s 8 concepts, with particular emphasis on differentiation, encouraging us to reflect on what is ours to do in this work. Then, she shares about Bowen’s undeveloped 9th concept about spirituality, including some of her own ideas about the topic. What are the spiritual resources that will help us in this work of recognizing our anxiety and bringing a calm presence to our leadership? We close with a poem from our beloved Ted Loder.

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder

 

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

Anthem (from Music in Solitude)

Chasing Butterflies (from Music in Solitude)

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. Our next Patreon episode will be a special Ask Ruth episode all about this season of the podcast. Submit your questions to podcast@transformingcenter.org. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Season 16: Episode 8 | Systems Theory and Leadership: Picking Up the Tools that Diffuse Anxiety

Season 16: Episode 8 | Systems Theory and Leadership: Picking Up the Tools that Diffuse Anxiety

June 20, 2022

We’re nearing the end of our season on Systems Theory and leadership anxiety! In this last episode with Ruth and Steve together, the two give really practical help with concrete tools that can help diffuse anxiety. These tools range from personal to relational, and they are rooted in deep care for the soul of the leader. Finally Ruth and Steve discuss how Systems Theory informs and aids transformational leadership. Next week, Ruth will wrap up the season with one final solo episode of closing thoughts and wisdom on this important topic.

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week Steve takes control of the mic and asks Ruth and last week’s guest, Tina Harris, what systems theory looks like within the culture of the Transforming Center. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!


Season 16: Episode 7 | It’s a Human Thing: Systems Theory in Non-Majority Spaces

Season 16: Episode 7 | It’s a Human Thing: Systems Theory in Non-Majority Spaces

June 13, 2022

This week we invited two additional guests to tackle this tender and challenging topic. Ruth and Steve are joined by Pastor Tina Harris, a former pastor and lawyer and currently Transforming Center’s Cultivator of Community and Connection, and Pastor Marvin Williams, the pastor of Trinity Church in Lansing, MI, and a doctoral candidate doing his work in Systems Theory in Non- Majority spaces. These four pastors and teachers sit down to discuss whether Systems Theory is just a white person thing. They touch on code switching as it pertains to differentiation and the difference between chronic anxiety and real trauma, particularly generational racial trauma. They wonder what happens when majority culture is spreading an anxiety that non-majority culture has to carry, and how can System Theory help us to manage our anxiety and do better in the conversations around race that we so desperately need to have right now? This conversation is honest, challenging, and ultimately, hopeful.

Mentioned in this episode:

A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week Ruth and Tina will continue the conversation with thoughts about Systems Theory across gender and race. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!



Season 16: Episode 6 | Second Order Change: Recognizing and Dissolving Stuck Patterns

Season 16: Episode 6 | Second Order Change: Recognizing and Dissolving Stuck Patterns

June 6, 2022

Sometimes our greatest anxieties can surround areas of stuckness, places where we know what we are doing isn’t working, but we can’t seem to find our way out. This week, Ruth and Steve will discuss second order change and how we can recognize and dissolve our stuck patterns. How does paying attention to process over content help us with this? And how can changing our own behaviors actually change the behaviors of others? Find out all this and more in this episode.

 

Helpful to this episode:
Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith

 

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will offer a conversation about universal sources of anxiety. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!



Season 16: Episode 5 | The Freedom of Taking Responsibility

Season 16: Episode 5 | The Freedom of Taking Responsibility

May 30, 2022

This week, Ruth and Steve are talking about differentiation. What is differentiation and how does it differ from individualism? Steve shares his framework of the Four Spaces and explains how paying attention to these spaces can help us differentiate and understand what is happening in a group. As we wrapped up, Steve shared a few practices that can help us with differentiation.

 

Mentioned in this episode:
CODA (Apple +)

 

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

Calm, Aware, Present Journal kickstarter campaign

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will offer a conversation about universal sources of anxiety. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!



Season 16: Episode 4 | Calm Presence: Leadership, Anxiety, and the False Self

Season 16: Episode 4 | Calm Presence: Leadership, Anxiety, and the False Self

May 23, 2022

Ruth and guest Steve Cuss continue to explore Systems Theory. This week they look at leadership, anxiety, and the false self. What are some examples of false selves and false beliefs and how do they relate to anxiety? What is the calm presence? Ruth and Steve’s conversation covers all this and more, including an invitation to participate in the practice of the Welcoming Prayer.

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

Calm, Aware, Present Journal kickstarter campaign

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will offer some thoughts on the Welcoming Prayer. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Season 16: Episode 3 | The Sins of the Fathers (and Mothers): How Family of Origin Impacts Our Leadership

Season 16: Episode 3 | The Sins of the Fathers (and Mothers): How Family of Origin Impacts Our Leadership

May 16, 2022

This week, Ruth and Steve delve into the topic of family of origin and its impact on leadership. Why do we need to do the messy work of untangling our childhood issues? How do we carry childhood wounds into our leadership? How can genograms help us do this work? Ruth and Steve share their thoughts on these questions and more in today’s episode.

 

This week’s practice invites you to sit with the following questions: What’s a family trait that was an asset to you? What is a family trait that was a liability?  We encourage you to explore genograms, as well. Check out Steve's genogram key
and questions to use with the key.

 

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

Calm, Aware, Present Journal kickstarter campaign

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will be sharing a more personal conversation with Ruth and Steve about parenting and systems theory. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!



Season 16: Episode 2 | The Most Powerful Leadership Tool: Diagnosing and Diffusing Anxiety

Season 16: Episode 2 | The Most Powerful Leadership Tool: Diagnosing and Diffusing Anxiety

May 11, 2022

Welcome to Season 16, Transforming Leadership: Managing Anxiety Within Our Communities. This season we will be exploring Systems Theory, also called Family Systems Theory. Many of us have seen the troubling Barna research about the extreme levels of burnout pastors are experiencing right now. As we look at Systems theory, we will be examining how it relates to and can transform our lives in leadership. 

 

In today’s episode Ruth welcomes our season-long guest, Steve Cuss, a pastor and author of Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs. Steve and Ruth dive into the deep end of Systems Theory as they discuss the most powerful leadership tool: diagnosing and diffusing anxiety. What is chronic anxiety? How does anxiety spread throughout a group? How can leaders attend to their own anxiety in healthy ways? Ruth and Steve answer all this and more in this week’s conversation.

 

Steve Cuss Resources:

Steve’s website

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

Calm, Aware, Present Journal kickstarter campaign

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will be sharing a conversation with Ruth and podcast producer Colleen where Colleen gets to ask Ruth her questions about Systems Theory. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Season 16: Episode 1| What’s Really Going On? Systems Theory and the Soul of Leadership

Season 16: Episode 1| What’s Really Going On? Systems Theory and the Soul of Leadership

May 9, 2022

Welcome to Season 16, Transforming Leadership: Managing Anxiety Within Our Communities. This season we will be exploring Systems Theory, also called Family Systems Theory. Many of us have seen the troubling Barna research about the extreme levels of burnout pastors are experiencing right now. As we look at Systems theory, we will be examining how it relates to and can transform our lives in leadership. Ruth welcomes guest Steve Cuss, pastor and author of Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs, to help us unpack Systems Theory.

 

In today’s episode Ruth is flying solo to give us an introduction to Systems Theory. She lays the groundwork for the season by detailing Bowen’s 8 concepts, while also giving us a general idea of Systems Theory and how it relates to anxiety and leadership. We think this introductory episode is just what we need to help us dive into the deep end with Ruth and Steve.

Resources used in today’s episode: 

Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman

Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

 

General Resources for Systems Theory:

Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

 

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

 

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week we will be sharing a conversation with Ruth and podcast producer Colleen where Colleen gets to ask Ruth her questions about Systems Theory. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

 

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!



Season 15: Easter Monday | Practicing Resurrection

Season 15: Easter Monday | Practicing Resurrection

April 18, 2022

We couldn’t leave you hanging in the darkness of Good Friday, so to wrap up season 15 of the podcast we are concluding with a conversation about Easter and the Resurrection. Ruth and Steve discuss the story of Mary and the empty tomb and what it reveals about the new order Jesus wants to bring. They marvel at the ways that Jesus cares for each of the disciples exactly as they need it most. Ruth encourages us to ask, what do we need from Jesus at this point? Are we willing to ask for it, or can we recognize the ways that Jesus is already meeting us in these needs? Join us for this discussion that invites us into the Easter season.

 

Music Credit:

Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus from Lent Music In Solitude

 

Mentioned in the episode:

Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year by Janet Morely

 

Support the podcast! Patrons at the $10 level will receive a digital download of Ruth Haley Barton’s Lent: A Season of Returning. It includes Cycle C scriptures and space to journal your own thoughts and prayers. This season, $10 patrons will also receive guided spiritual practices, like the Lectio Divina and Examen, that correspond with each week’s episode. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!  

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

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