August 2016: Self-Care of the Leader

eNews Masthead - Transforming Challenges
In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Leaders in organizations, especially values-based organizations, are often so focused on taking care of others that they neglect to take care of themselves.  In this edition of Transforming Challenges, we offer a checklist of self-care practices that can keep burn out at bay.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • John Reid exhibited at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men assembly in Columbus OH the first week in August.  Maureen Gallagher  staffed The Reid Group exhibit at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Atlanta the second week in August.
  • Lucien Roy has been hired by St. Louis University to design and facilitate workshops to enhance understanding, appreciation and respect in the workplace culture.  The first of these workshops is scheduled for September 8.
  • Jim Doyle facilitated a session, The Many Hats of the Mission Officer, at the Mission Officers Institute sponsored by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in early August.
  • Maureen Gallagher met with the leadership team of the Holy Cross sisters in Merrill WI  and facilitated their conversations where they set priorities and the steps needed to continue the journey toward completion of the U.S. Province.<  Maureen also continues her work with the collaborative committee of LCWR Region 9 (Wisconsin), researching ways to organize cooperative efforts to better serve the variety of religious institutes in the state.
  • Tom Reid made a presentation at the Notre Dame’s Masters in Nonprofit Administration program in mid-July.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us an e-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

The Reid Group Celebrates 20 Years

Summer 2016 marks the beginning of our 20th year!

When we launched The Reid Group in July 1997, we had no idea how rewarding it would be to help leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities.

In the past 20 years, we have worked with hundreds of organizations–parishes, parochial schools, religious communities of men and women, nonprofits, dioceses, hospitals, colleges and universities.  Some of these clients were large organizations and some were small.  But no matter their size or complexity, they all faced challenges which, if not met, threatened their ability to sustain themselves into the future.

Helping leaders in these organizations assure a sustainable future will continue to be our focus.  We have created a resource–the Sustainable Future Audit–for our clients to help them identify the issues they need to address.

For a complimentary strategy session on your particular challenges, contact us at

Feature Focus

Self-Care of the Leader


Leaders in values-based organizations are often in danger of burn out because of their commitment to the mission of the organization and to the people they serve. They are less likely to engage in–but more likely to need–good practices of self-care.

But the reality is that your ministry/work is only as healthy as you are. Why not give yourself a Self-Care Checkup and see how you’re doing in these foundational areas:
Priorities and boundaries-valuing work-life balance
In setting priorities, you need to ask what matters most and what is needed now? And you also need to ask yourself: What is not needed or, at least, not needed from me? Where am I spread too thin?
Care of the body
If you get enough rest, maintain your weight, get enough exercise and proper nutrition, it will take less energy to get through the day. Consequently, you have more energy for the demands of your leadership.
Take at least a day off each week, and really take it off. It also is good practice to “take a minute off,” pausing periodically throughout the day to reset and refocus.
Healthy sense of discipline
Discipline in this context does not refer to punishment or restrictions but rather to building and adhering to a healthy structure for your time: What time do you go to bed? Get up? What do you do in the first hour of the day?
Many of us find it easier to detect the flaws in those around us than to recognize our own failings. This is not to say you have to flog yourself constantly for your shortcomings, but you do need to be aware of them and committed to change.
Maintain some kind of spiritual practice
For some leaders, this may be the practice of daily meditation. For others, it may mean spending time in nature. Find a way to spend time cultivating an awareness of being part of a larger whole.
Structures of support
Friends, a leadership coach, a supportive community-any or all of these can provide the support you need to maintain good practices of self-care.
Summer is often a time of rest and re-creation for many of us. But effective leaders don’t limit their healthy self-care practices to a week or two of vacation-they make self-care a priority all year around.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

bookcoverweb2Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.Kathy Johnson, Editor, Transforming Challenges
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Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced with full attribution.