A collaborative new book has been published by Fr. William J. Byron, SJ, and Fr. James L. Connor, SJ, titled Principles of Ignatian Leadership: A Resource for a Faith-Committed Life. The book was written to assist people to recognize in themselves their capacity for and their skills of leadership, and then to help them exercise leadership most effectively in their service of others.
This is exactly what the retreat of St. Ignatius, called "Spiritual Exercises," aims to do. The ancient Delphic Oracle used to advise people to "know thyself." And then, "To thine own self be true," is what Polonius tells his son in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Ignatius assists us to do just that, as we can see in a powerful meditation he offers us midway through the retreat. It is, entitled, "Two Types of People" - people who march under two banners with absolutely opposite messages on them. One banner says, "What's in it for me-me-me?" and the other banner says, "And what can I do for you?" In his retreat, Ignatius is guiding people through the "conversion" which he himself experienced - from a self-promoting "ladies' man" and playboy to companion of Christ in service to others. This is the perennial challenge and invitation humans face, and this book helps to make that passage successfully and permanently.
Fr. Byron is a university professor of business and society at St. Joseph's University. The author of many books, he holds a doctorate in economics and has taught in the business schools of Georgetown and Loyola University Maryland. Fr. Connor holds a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University. He currently offers seminars in Jesuit spirituality to business school faculty and business leaders.