In October of 2013, in Chicago, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., spoke to representatives from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. In his address, Fr. Nicolás reflected on some of the themes of Chris Lowney's book Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World. I came across an excerpt too good not to share, and very much worth reflecting upon in preparation for the next academic year. Reflecting on the important of vision, Fr. Nicolás said:
For Ignatian institutions there is nothing, however big it might be, that can limit the apostolic imagination of a leader. We can see this attitude in the courage with which some of the great missionaries in Jesuit history who went out facing an entire continent -- in times with no airplanes, internet, nothing -- and were capable of becoming these audacious and imaginative missionaries. They had a broad vision well beyond their knowledge of their own limited capacities. Even those in poor health knew how to carry out a creative vision and eventually move across the continent because their concrete steps were all ordered to the great vision they had in mind. José Anchieta traveled on the back of a mule throughout Brazil as far as Peru and Bolivia, because he was led by his ideals and vision.
Read the rest of this excellent talk here.