Discussions: Module 3 Integrated Capstone My course is Integrated Capstone – Master of Health Administration. For module 3, please discuss the following:

Discussions: Module 3 Integrated Capstone My course is Integrated Capstone – Master of Health Administration.

For module 3, please discuss the following:

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Bradley, E., Cherlin, E., Busch, S., Epstein, A., Helfand, B., and W. White. Adopting a competency-based model: Mapping curricula and assessing student progress. Journal of Health Administration Education, 25 (1-4), 2008. Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on Leadership
Few authors have articulated an Ignatian perspective on leadership. While Lowney’s Heroic
Leadership and Byron’s Next-Generation Leadership have presented thoughtful answers to the
question, “What is Ignatian leadership?”, other perspectives on leadership in the literature—for
example, transformational, authentic, or servant leadership—have hundreds of related papers,
chapters, and books for amplification. This is not the case with an Ignatian perspective, where
the aforementioned authors stand relatively alone. In this paper, we will contribute to an Ignatian
perspective on leadership by mining aspects of Ignatian spirituality and producing our own
theoretical model of Ignatian leadership.
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on Leadership
Since the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola and his
companions, the Jesuits have worked actively in the fields of education, medicine, the arts, and
science, improving lives and helping souls along the way (Lowney, 2003). The Jesuits are guided
by the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, which is the source for the Ignatian “way of
proceeding”—an engaged and active spirituality (Martin, 2010). Our project in this paper is to
explore the Ignatian way of proceeding through the lens of leadership practice and present a
leadership model, inspired by Saint Ignatius, that will contribute to the field.
Scholars and members of organizations alike have focused considerable effort on trying
to develop perspectives, theories, assumptions, and frameworks of effective leadership. The
results of this work, according to a recent search of the Business Source Complete research
database, include over 125,000 articles over the past 100 years. As an indication that the thirst for
leadership knowledge has not waned—and has even grown substantially—over 90,000 of those
articles have appeared over the past decade alone. Against the backdrop of complexity and
challenges, it seems, the need to gain deeper and broader understandings of leadership is
Earlier leadership perspectives have included trait-based, behavioral, contingency,
transformational, and charismatic approaches (Northouse, 2013). More recently, theories of
servant and authentic leadership have garnered increased attention (e.g., Avolio & Gardner,
2005; Greenleaf, 1977; Van Dierendonck, 2011; Walumbwa et al., 2008). Authors have plumbed
the life stories of many people, trying to uncover their leadership “secrets,” from Colin Powell
(Harari, 2003), Hillary Clinton (Shambaugh, 2010), and Queen Elizabeth (Higgins & Gilberd,
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
2000) to the likes of Attila the Hun (Roberts, 1985), Genghis Khan (Man, 2009), and Hitler
(Roberts, 2004).
Each of these perspectives contributes to our understanding of what leadership is and
how to be more effective leaders. Even “leaders” like Attila the Hun and Hitler present useful
leadership insights, if only regarding how not to lead. With every additional perspective, our
understanding of leadership grows in complexity; this is beneficial since the greater the
complexity of the challenges faced, the greater the need for complexity in response (Lord,
Hannah, & Jennings, 2011).
While several of these leadership perspectives have been explored robustly, there are
other approaches that have been relatively less well developed. For example, servant leadership
is a relatively new perspective that reframes leadership not as the use of power of those “in
charge,” but rather as the emergent focus on fulfilling the needs of others (Greenleaf, 1977; Van
Dierendonck, 2011). Despite its relative newness, there have been hundreds of articles and scores
of books that have developed and expanded this perspective. There are other perspectives that
have not been as fully explored, including the perspective that is at the heart of the present paper:
Ignatian leadership.
Ignatian leadership is a leadership perspective grounded in Ignatian spirituality. While
Ignatian spirituality is almost five centuries old and is conceptually very sound, robust, and
welldeveloped, scholars have not developed a clear Ignatian leadership perspective that is
commensurate with other leadership approaches. While there are notable contributions to the
beginnings of an Ignatian leadership perspective by Lowney (2003) and Byron (2011), and given
Ignatian spirituality’s focus on what are recognized as core leadership practices—including
selfawareness, continuous learning, and concern for the common good—our hope is to take the
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
next step in developing a conceptual framework for articulating the nature of Ignatian leadership.
Furthermore, given the public’s fascination with the leadership of Pope Francis—a member of
the Society of Jesus—there is an appetite for learning the roots of his leadership from an Ignatian
perspective (Allen, 2014; Krames, 2014; Lowney, 2013).
Our paper will proceed as follows. First, we will briefly review Ignatian spirituality to
explore what is unique and distinctive about Ignatian practices and approaches as they relate to
leadership. Second, we will summarize Lowney’s and Byron’s presentations of Ignatian
leadership, as well as review closely related perspectives on leadership. Third, we will present
our own framework of Ignatian leadership, which will both extend Lowney and Byron’s work as
well as contribute our own perspective on what is distinct in this approach. Finally, we will
discuss the implications of our framework for leadership scholars, educators, and practitioners.
Ignatian Spirituality
The primary source for Ignatian spirituality is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Loyola. The Exercises, composed between 1522 and 1548, are a set of prayers, experiences,
meditations, and movements written by Ignatius after a conversion experience following an
injury, near death experience, and subsequent recuperation. The Exercises are broken into four
“weeks” and were originally intended to be completed in a 30-day retreat format with a spiritual
director. The director, taking into consideration the unique personality and circumstances
(technically referred to as Context) of the retreatant, leads the retreatant through an iterative
process of discernment that includes experience, reflection, action, and evaluation related to
major life choices. As Fleming (2008: 38) explains, “The purpose of the Spiritual Exercises… is
to facilitate the movement of God’s grace within us so that light and love of God inflame all
possible decisions and resolutions about life situations.”
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
More recently, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by Martin (2010) has become a
popular source for a contemporary understanding and application of Ignatian spiritualty. Martin
(2010) explains how the life of “a sixteenth century soldier-turned-mystic” can help people
“discover joy, peace and freedom and, not incidentally, experience God in their daily lives” (p.
1). He goes on to define Ignatian spirituality as “a way of living in relationship with God” (p. 2)
and describes its four core elements as (1) finding God in all things, (2) being a contemplative in
action, (3) incarnational spirituality, and (4) developing freedom and detachment in the process
of decision-making, termed “indifference” by Ignatius.
Finding God in all things, according to Martin, means that every aspect of life is
significant, and should be considered in relation to a God with whom each individual has a direct
connection. Fleming (2008: 44) offers an amplification of this core element: “God is ever
present, constantly in touch, communicating with us in many ways: in prayer and reading
scripture, of course, but also in the events of our lives—through the people we meet and the
work we do, through the things we see and hear, through our interior moods and affections.”
The second core element of Ignatian spirituality, being a contemplative in action, speaks
to the aspiration that one remains reflective while active in the world helping others. At the time
of the creation of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), most religious orders were contemplative and
cloistered, not active outside the monastery. Martin (2010: 8) says, “Ignatius asks you to see the
world as your monastery.” Fleming (2008: 50) concurs: “Ignatius practiced an active spirituality.
He understood that people were actively engaged with work in the world….They shared life with
each other. This active sharing of grace and gifts and talents eventually became the how for this
evangelistic ministry.”
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
The third core element is incarnational spirituality. It is based on the Christian doctrine of
the Incarnation, that God became fully human in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a
worldaffirming, “get your hands dirty,” approach to life. It is deeply congruent with the first two
core principles, presuming that God is present in every human situation and activity, and that we
are called to act for the greater good (magis).
The final core principle is freedom and detachment, Ignatian “indifference.” Ignatius
spent much of his life helping others make good decisions through the Exercises and personal
spiritual direction. This process of discernment, as outlined by in the Spiritual Exercises and
noted above, helps individuals determine the best course of action in any particular situation. Its
practice is predicated on “indifference,” which Martin (2010: 306) describes as, “the ability to be
detached from one’s initial biases…the willingness to carefully balance the alternatives.”
A fundamental practice derived from the Exercises is the daily examen. Ignatius asked
Jesuits, the religious order he founded, to practice this reflective technique twice a day in order to
find God in the events of their daily lives. While highly adaptable to individual circumstances
and personality, the typical elements of the examen include: gratitude, awareness of sin, review
of the day, forgiveness, and resolution. Practiced on a regular basis, Fleming (2008: 20) affirms
that the examen “is an indispensible tool to realize the purpose of the Spiritual Exercises—to
detect God’s presence and to discern his will through close attention to the subtle interior
movements of God’s spirit.”
One final note before turning from Ignatian spirituality to Ignatian leadership is to offer a
definition of “Ignatian” in relation to any activity or undertaking (technically referred to as a
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
“work” in official Jesuit documents). In the official document stemming from the most recent
General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, “With Renewed Vigor and Zeal,” we find the
following statement:
The heart of any Ignatian work is the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius. Indeed, any
work may be said to be Ignatian when it manifests the Ignatian charism: i.e., when it
intentionally seeks God in all things; when it practices Ignatian discernment; when it
engages the world through a careful analysis of context, in dialogue with experience,
evaluated through reflection, for the sake of action, and with openness, always, to
evaluation. (Decree 6.9)
So for leadership—or any other practice, for that matter—to be Ignatian, it must incorporate
these elements.
Existing Perspectives on Ignatian Leadership
To date, the two clearest articulations of Ignatian leadership have been presented by
Lowney (2003) in his book Heroic Leadership and by Byron (2010; 2011) in his book
NextGeneration Leadership and recent article in Journal of Jesuit Business Education. Other
authors have addressed Ignatian leadership—notable among them is Darmanin’s (2005)
reflection on how aspects of Ignatian spirituality are manifested in modern leadership and
organizational theories—but few have explicitly presented Ignatian leadership models like
Lowney and Byron.
Lowney’s (2003) well-known formulation was informed by his Jesuit
training as well as his experience in investment banking. Lowney integrates Ignatian spirituality,
Jesuit history, and Jesuit practices to develop his four-pillar model of Ignatian leadership,
consisting of selfawareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism.
The first pillar, self-awareness, stems from continuous self-reflection on one’s strengths,
weaknesses, values, and purpose. The Spiritual Exercises and the examen play a crucial role in
this leadership pillar, as does the Jesuit practice of mentorship. Engaging in these self-awareness
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
practices help leaders balance the need to be engaged and action-oriented while also developing a
deeper and more honest sense of self.
The second pillar in Lowney’s model, ingenuity, captures how the Jesuit principle of
“indifference” affects one’s leadership. Reflecting on how Jesuits for centuries have lived “with
one foot raised” (p. 31), Lowney argues leaders need to be free from attachments such as places
or possessions. This indifference to material things allows leaders to stay true to personal and
organizational values and goals while being flexible and creative in pursuing them. Leadership,
then, is about being tactically autonomous and ingenious while remaining strategically obedient
and faithful.
Lowney’s third pillar, love, is both self- and other-focused. Leaders need to love
themselves, and, in the resultant more positive mindset, then love others around them. By
focusing on what is lovable about each person, leaders are more likely to commit the time and
energy to be compassionate and empathetic with others. Loving leaders are also more likely to
invest themselves in the growth and development of others; they are less likely to “write off”
people with whom they disagree.
Lastly, with his fourth pillar, Lowney argues that Ignatian leadership is built on heroism,
which is about daring to find audacious ways to “help souls.” Here, Lowney captures the Jesuit
concept of the magis, “the restless drive to look for something more in every opportunity and the
confidence that one will find it” (p. 209). Leaders, when pursuing important objectives, can be
called to take heroic risks.
Lowney asserts that these four pillars do not operate independently; rather, they are
mutually reinforcing (pp. 250-253). Developing a deep sense of self-awareness, for example, will
allow a leader to understand her core values and promote the freedom to pursue them
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
(ingenuity), to see what is lovable within herself (love), and to feel more peace when confronting
great challenges (heroism).
Turning to the work of William Byron, S.J., the former university president has written
extensively on daily experiences with Ignatian spirituality, and an Ignatian dimension of
leadership. In an appendix to his book Next-Generation Leadership, Byron (2010) compiles—
along with James Connor, S.J.—twenty-one principles of Ignatian leadership “connected to the
person and life of St. Ignatius of Loyola” (p. 223). Included in this list are such concepts as
indifference, selflessness, magis, humility, discernment, and love. Byron and Connor relate each
principle to the Spiritual Exercises or some other aspect of Ignatian spirituality and present them
as meditations for young leaders to reflect on and discuss.
In an even more parsimonious presentation, Byron (2011) writes in Journal of Jesuit
Business Education about the three aspects of Jesuit spirituality that inform an Ignatian
dimension of leadership. In Byron’s view, the three distinctive aspects of Ignatian leadership are
humility, magis, and the process of discernment. Each of these, he argues, is rooted in Ignatian
spirituality and are valuable for religious and lay leadership.
Explaining the importance of humility, Byron (2011) cites St. Ignatius’ framework
regarding the three levels of humility. The first level of humility is “understood as obedience to
God’s will” (p. 12). The second level relates to the concept of indifference explored by Lowney
(2003). Here, humility entails being indifferent to riches or poverty, honor or dishonor, and a
long or short life; the only concern is which alternative better serves God. The third degree of
humility is its highest form—not only is one indifferent, but one desires to be poor, despised, and
seen as foolish, as was Christ. Ignatian leaders, then, must relinquish their own ego, desires, and
self-aggrandizement to serve God and others.
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
Magis, which Lowney (2003) captured in his heroism pillar, reflects the purpose of
pursuing the path of glorifying God with, as Byron (2011) notes, “fierce resolve” (p. 12).
Byron’s (2011) perspective stitches together the concepts of humility and magis through the
neologism “humbition,” which he borrows from the financial firm SEI Investments. To have
humbition is to be both humble and ambitious; leaders should, then, not care about personal ego
while at the same time daring to do great and meaningful work.
The last distinguishing characteristic of Ignatian leadership, according to Byron (2011) is
discernment, which is “a special way to make decisions that bears directly on the way one can
search out God’s will” (p. 17). This cornerstone of Jesuit spirituality takes on great importance in
a perspective on Ignatian leadership given the centrality of making decisions in a leader’s life. As
detailed by Byron (2011), discernment is a reflective form of decision-making that attends to the
feelings (or “state[s] of soul,” p. 18) that accompany contemplating different courses of action.
Discernment, then, entails leadership practices such as self-awareness, introspection, openness,
and honesty.
Related Leadership Perspectives
Reviewing key aspects of Ignatian spirituality and existing perspectives on Ignatian
leadership highlights several distinctive and core features, such as an action orientation,
reflectivity, and a focus on loving others. To ensure that our contribution to an Ignatian
leadership perspective is robust and grounded, in this section we briefly review the most relevant
extant leadership theories. It is outside the scope of our paper to explore the full conceptual
network, so we focus instead on those contemporary leadership theories that are most closely
related to core Ignatian features. These contemporary theories include servant leadership,
authentic leadership, and transformational leadership.
Dufresne, R.L., Botto, K. & Steele, E.S. (2015) Contributing to an Ignatian Perspective on
Leadership. Journal of Jesuit Business Edcuation. 6, 1-19.
The extant leadership perspective that most …
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