L3 Leadership Transcriptions: Bishop David Zubik on 4 Characteristics Every Leader Must Develop

By May 21, 2018Transcripts
Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with Bishop David Zubik. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Bishop Zubik, the notes, and for links to everything discussed, check out our show notes!

Bishop David Zubik: 00:00 Perhaps what you and I need to do, if we are serious about leadership in our own lives, we might want to remember the prayer of sister Eugenia. Oh God, help me to lead today as if it were my first day of service, my last day of service, my only day of service.

Doug Smith: 00:23 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 193.

00:28 This is the L3 Leadership podcast. Now here’s your host, Doug Smith.

Doug Smith: 00:39 What’s up everyone, and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well today. You’ll hear a talk given by Bishop David Zubik, the Catholic Diocese Bishop of Pittsburgh. We recently had him speak at an event for us and he did a fantastic job. If you’re unfamiliar with Bishop Zubik, let me just tell you a few things about him. In 2003, Pope John Paul, the second name, Bishop Zubik, the 11th bishop of the diocese of Green Bay. In 2007, he was named by Pope Benedict the 16th as the twelfth bishop of Pittsburgh and he is currently responsible for 632,000 people in the Greater Pittsburgh area. I’ll say that one more time. Bishop Zubik is responsible for 632,000 people in the Greater Pittsburgh area and he’s currently in the middle of leading the Catholic Church in our area through a huge transition code on mission for the Church Alive and he’s done a fantastic job leading that effort so far.

Doug Smith: 01:32 In his talk, you’ll hear him teach about four characteristics that every leader must develop. It was a fantastic talk. Again, you’re going to love it and if you enjoy his talk, you can also listen to our q and a session with him at the event in episode number 194 and I also had the privilege of interviewing Bishop Zubik a while ago for the podcast and if you would like to listen to that interview, you can go back and listen to that in episode number 166 of the L3 Leadership podcast. But before we dive into Bishop Zubik talk, just a few announcements, I want to encourage you to become a member of L3 Leadership, and let me just say this, if you have ever wanted to take your life in leadership to the next level, if you’ve ever desired to be surrounded by a community of leaders that will encourage you, challenge you, hold you accountable for your goals, help you reach your potential, and cause you to make a bigger impact than you need to become a member of L3

Doug Smith: 02:20 Leadership. When you become a member, you’ll have the ability to join one of our mastermind groups. You’ll have access to our community of over 100 leaders, access to the tools and resources you need to take your life and leadership to the next level. So stop doing life alone as a leader and join a community of leaders that will help you thrive. To learn more about membership, go to L3leadership.org/ membership. I also want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers. They’re a jeweler, owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura, and I got her engagement and wedding rings through Henny Jewelers. And we just think they’re an incredible company. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people, in fact, they give every engaged couple a book to help them for their marriage. And we just love that. So if you’re in need of a good jeweler, checkout Hennejewelers.com. With that being said, let’s dive right into Bishop Zubik talk and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.

Bishop David Zubik: 03:13 Humbled to be here today and especially to be with all of you who are already making a difference in the society that we put lovably know as southwestern Pennsylvania. So I think for all of us as a Christian tradition, we prepare for the great feast of Pentecost, which is tomorrow. And it is that moment that we recall, uh, the apostles being in the upper room and they received the power to be able to spread the good news of Jesus. So let’s pray for the same in each of our lives. Dear God in a room a much similar to this one. So many years ago, your son’s promise was fulfilled and the spirit came upon Mary and the remaining apostles when the spirit came, they were full of fear.

Bishop David Zubik: 04:16 When the spirit left his mark in their lives, they were full of excitement. They went out and let everybody know whomever they met, who in fact was Jesus. And they paved the way for others to follow. May we in our respective leadership roles, be able to do the same us now, help us always in Jesus’ name, Amen. Well, this is the day the Lord has made the 14th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which actually begins with a Pentecost, describes the very first mission of St Paul and his good Buddy Barnabas, a mission where they would focus on spreading the good news to break through people’s barriers and to take the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles. It has some wonderful moments when Paul cures a man who was unable to walk from birth, the gentile, clearly pagan, and as a crowd shout out in amazement that that cure was assigned, that the gods have come down in human form.

Bishop David Zubik: 05:45 They Call Barnabas, Zeus and Paul Hermes and bring oxen from the pagan temple to offer in pagan sacrifice. It was at that moment that Paul and Barnabas rushed into the crowd telling them not to do that, that they are not gods. They’re proclaiming the good news that you should turn from these idols to a living God, and this wonderful speech, once again recounted in the 14th chapter of Acts, was so well received and so convincing were Paul and Barnabas that rather than hearing it as an insult to their idols, they, in fact, sought to follow the direction that Paul gave in his own life. I think much like yourself, I have spent much of my time with leaders. People willing to dedicate themselves and their time to do something more than just the expected, more than just the ordinary, like Paul and Barnabas, they and you and I are on a journey with a purpose, a journey that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

Bishop David Zubik: 07:04 I’ve been blessed to see so much leadership exercise in the church daily. I’ve seen a religious sister with no business background decide that the poor must be fed and with simply $9 and sixty-nine cents in her pocket, was able to establish a daily food pantry to reach out to people who in fact are hungry. I’ve seen a priest with no background in medicine, create and lead a health clinic in Chimbote, Peru, one of the poorest areas of the country. That over the course of the last 50 plus years have served tens of thousands of people. It’s mission continues and even after his passing is able to do so. Because of his inspired leadership. I’ve seen the mothers have grown children build a second vocation by managing successful schools. I’ve seen fellows with blue collar jobs and simply a high school education pulled together all the people necessary to run faith-based sports programs for hundreds of kids.

Bishop David Zubik: 08:23 I’ve seen a pastor harnessing and directing the energy of several local communities, building a new vibrant parish where formerly that people were struggling and that new parish has, in fact, come alive. In my experience, I have seen leadership and I see it again in this room. Leadership exercised in seemingly millions of ways by people with different talents, different capabilities, different backgrounds, and different education including little or no education at all, and I’ve seen them succeed. In trying to learn from them, I can tell you that I have learned much. I’ll share some of that for whatever it’s worth, overriding all of this. These people were led by what I call a quote, “Realistic Vision.” They fully grasp their overall vision to create a vibrant congregation out of different parts, to serve the poorest of the poor in a foreign mission, to feed the hungry, but then make that vision realistic. They can’t feed all the poor of the world, three meals every day, but they can provide a good lunch to the homeless in downtown Pittsburgh. They can’t serve the sick everywhere in the world, but they can bring medical help to a little corner of the world. Good leaders know that they can’t ask people to do the impossible, but they know that people will help them to do what in fact is possible.

Bishop David Zubik: 10:24 Whenever we take a look at all of the qualities that in fact bring together the strength of people working together, we know that from the beginning any vision is grounded in reality. What else can we do, but share our resources of successful leaders. I have to tell you that exercise leadership is based on what I consider to be a classic virtues, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice, and I think those classic core values are the key to outstanding leadership, especially in your life and mine, virtues that a leader must possess to make a realistic vision real, and so I’d like to speak about each of them. First of all, prudence. In a classical understanding, prudence means intellect and conscience to choose the right means of achieving a good end and leadership, prudence is a very straightforward virtue. It means leading by truth and decency to achieve proper goals.

Bishop David Zubik: 11:46 I like to see it as a leader who can look in the mirror every morning without fearing that she or he has sold out to the world around them. Prudence means leading by thought out reason principals that don’t fall prey to the conventional wisdom. A prudent leader looks for the truth, finds the truth, and lives the truth, and she or he directs people along the same path. It’s not just the leader who will never sell her or his soul, but the leader who inspires those working under her or his leadership to never have to sell theirs as well. Many of you know that I live at St Paul Seminary, which is located in the Green Tree area of the city of Pittsburgh. When I came back to Pittsburgh from having been bishop in Green Bay, Wisconsin for four years, I chose to live at the seminary because I knew that I needed to be learned from and be inspired by younger people who are discerning the call to the priesthood.

Bishop David Zubik: 13:00 And I can remember shortly after I returned back as I was sitting in my favorite spot in our small chapel at the seminary and the far left-hand corner of the chapel, God sent a blessing on me as I was praying. And the blessing is this, may the Lord so fire up your souls that you may help many other people come to know God through you. And it is, in fact, that blessing that calls forth the virtue of prudence and people who are willing to lead. You and I know that life is a search for a lot of things and oftentimes things that can be contradictory. We try to understand who we are as living, breathing individuals, yet we too often latch onto the crowd to blend in as best we can. We proclaim the freedom of our intellects but get too many of our ideas secondhand from the daily bombardment of the culture in which we live.

Bishop David Zubik: 14:14 A prudent leader knows that there are things worth knowing about and many things not knowing about wisdom is found in knowing the difference. Prudence, again, is recognizing the truth and living by it. The second principle or virtue of leadership to my mind is fortitude and fortitude is the virtue of courage, living by our principles in good times and in bad. It’s not meek acceptance, but the courage to embrace what in fact is the truth. Courage means firmness in times of difficulty, and it means the willingness to hold steadfast to our principals when life is telling us simply not to bother. We identify rightly, fortitude with bravery or courage. There is courage that we naturally admire and we look for that and the leader as long as it doesn’t border on the reckless. A leader with fortitude also has to be a leader with our first virtue that a prudence.

Bishop David Zubik: 15:40 Fortitude is persistence, not obsession and leadership. It is the commitment to excellence and helping to raise up people to the demands of commitment. It is refusing to accept or fall into the easy compromises that can make a job anything less than one’s best effort. From my perspective, fortitude or courage is the virtue that God did not create us in vain. He gives each one of us a purpose, even if we sometimes don’t see that purpose clearly. Fortitude is leading with integrity and fervent commitment. Fortitude is trust. Trust in God and trust lived in a word, fortitude again is courage. The third virtue of leadership is temperance. Temperance is the virtue of keeping our desires and our wishes within honorable limits. It is learning to appreciate the role of all the people that we lead, seeing every single person, not as dispensable, but an important part of the mosaic of whatever project we are about.

Bishop David Zubik: 17:11 It is in learning that we appreciate that in those roles. We never drive anyone too far or too fast beyond what they can do without help. Yet at the same time not diminishing their own passion. For it’s, we use the phrase playing within yourself. It means knowing your skills and your capabilities and knowing the skills and capabilities of the people you lead and respecting, living and developing them all. I have to say one of the most difficult lessons that I’ve learned as a bishop and I’ve been ordained a bishop more than 21 years, is to be able to recognize the fact that not everybody can do everything and that it is critically important to be able to assess a person’s gifts and talents and look for ways in which that particular person can in fact, soar. Many of you have read in the newspaper is about our initiative and  Doug made reference to it about our own mission for the Church Alive.

Bishop David Zubik: 18:23 And over the course of the last three years, we’ve been trying to help people realize that what we need to be able to do is take a look at, in fact the resources that God has given to us both material as well as personal and to be able to use them for one purpose and one purpose only to bring people closer to God by helping to bring people closer to each other. In the context of this particular endeavor. It’s been an exciting enterprise for myself and my staff members to be able to take a look at, in fact, the needs of our 188 parishes now grouped into 57 clusters, recognizing that each one is different from the other, approaching the change and challenge that’s before us, not from the perspective of a cookie cutter approach, but being able to recognize what in fact is the personality of each of those groupings and try to match it with a leadership that can in fact help serve those people. And the fact that many people have a difficulty understanding

Bishop David Zubik: 19:36 that particular approach indicates how important it is that we continue to help them grow with us in the virtue of temperance. Temperance is the virtue of a balanced leadership and sometimes it gives us pause. Some mistake, and temperance as the opposite of passion, where passion is seen as a driving force that pushes us to excel and temperance is a celebration of the wishy-washy. Something that pulls us back from excellence to settle for the ordinary. That’s not temperance. Temperance is knowing how to lead with passion, but recognizing that that leadership does not simply rest in any one of us as individuals, but it rests in the capacity to invite and inspire other people to join in the vision that is a centerpiece of our hearts. Temperance is knowing that if most of the hours in a day are made up of doing the ordinary well, the exceptional will clearly

Bishop David Zubik: 20:51 follow. Leaders fail temperance when they fail perspective, most of all leaders fail. Temperance, when they confuse leadership with power, When we see other people as a stumbling block to where we want temperance fails, a leader’s goal is to find her or his core value and live it and help others to do the same temperature makes that happen. And finally, the fourth virtue is that of justice. Justice from its biblical definition is not giving people what they deserve. Justice from the biblical perspective is being able to see with the mind and the heart of God. It is the virtue of looking for and building up harmony and the common good and all of our actions. Justice means knowing that we not only define ourselves by our basic beliefs but that we act in concert with them. Justice seeks the good for all of God’s creation, the attempt to create harmony and peace in our world and most important of all, God’s justice gives fundal meaning to every single life I have to give credit to my boss, Pope Francis, and as you can well imagine, he has, in fact, said many things every day, many things that touch people to their hearts and also challenge them to move beyond themselves.

Bishop David Zubik: 22:57 You can well remember that several years ago he brought into focus his letter Laudato Si, in which he said that in recognizing the importance of creation, it is imperative that we respect the life of all people from the unborn to the born, from the infants to the senior citizen, but it’s also imperative that we see the hand of God in all of creation and respect creation from the point of justice once again through the eyes of God in the mind and the heart of God himself. Every good leader seeks out justice if her or his commitment is to achieve goals in a spirit of harmony and the common good. That is what leads to genuine success. Justice is our principal’s lived, no matter the conditions, no matter what appearance it may take on, no matter how the story ends in human condition, the world makes no sense if there is no justice.

Bishop David Zubik: 24:11 Justice is the rock bottom virtue of any good leader. Leadership, in fact, thrives on justice. One of the things that we attempted to do in the course of our three years preparation for the announcements on our On Mission for the Church Alive is to invite every single one of our 632 members to be able to pray for three things that we may learn to learn, Jesus, that we may seek to love Jesus and that we may seek to live Jesus and reality, that my friends is justice. Taking into consideration the four virtues that we have just reflected upon, I would like to suggest that leadership is successful when our lives and our actions are based on what in the Christian tradition we call the three theological virtues, faith, hope, and love. First of all, faith, not a blind leap, but a belief rooted in the certainty of our God who has created the world and everything in it and continues to remain with us always going back nearly 50 days when we as Christians celebrated the great feast of Easter.

Bishop David Zubik: 25:49 We must, in fact, remember the first words that Jesus spoke to his apostles as he came again into that upper room. The first words that slipped from his lips were peace. Peace be with you, and if any of us might be naive enough to think that when Jesus came to give that promise of peace to those apostles on that first Easter night or to all of us, that that would include a freedom from anxiety, we’ve missed the point. We’ve missed his point. For when Jesus comes to make the promise of peace. The promise is that he will, in fact, remain with us always. For us in the Catholic Church. The fall, the spring season is a time when many of our eighth and ninth graders receive the sacrament of confirmation, and I always seek to fire up the souls of those 14 and 15-year-olds by letting them know that, as they’re coming forward, they need to do so with the understanding, the conviction and the affirmation that God is asking them to do a very important job.

Bishop David Zubik: 27:09 Namely they need to be able to stand up for Jesus. Hardly an easy task and the days in which we live, but along with that important charge and trust of God in those youngsters and in all of us rest also his promise that he will never leave us flat. Never give us a challenge or a charge that he doesn’t also give us the power to live, to live it, and that my friends is all connected to what we know to be faith. Faith requires of each of us that we grow in an understanding of God’s truth and that we do our very best to beat other people to truth. If you want truth, seek faith. If you want faith, seek truth, and that underscores exactly what is our mission in On Mission for the Church Alive to come to grasp with truth and do our very best to bring other people to it.

Bishop David Zubik: 28:20 That’s what we also call in that $50 word, evangelization. Second of all, hope. This is a word that is most often misunderstood. In the classic sense hope is never mere wishing. Hope is our serene and firm confidence that God will never abandon us no matter what life brings us or takes away from us. Finally, love. And it’s important that we keep it simple. Every activity in our lives should have no other point, but and in love. When I was in my former chapter of my life and for 13 years I served in secondary education. The last seven of those I taught a course which I developed for seniors in high school called Christian Lifestyles was an 18-week course, looking at lots of different facets of what it means to be a Christian in the world in which we live, but I can remember very clearly that on the very last day of the course.

Bishop David Zubik: 29:38 I looked at my students ready to graduate and said, there are many things that we’ve talked about in the course of these last 18 weeks. If you don’t remember anything else that I’ve tried to teach you, I do want you to remember this. If you’re serious about Jesus Christ, then it is imperative that you always seek to treat every single person whom you meet as if they were Jesus Christ, and it’s imperative that you seek to treat every single person whom you meet as if you are Jesus Christ. Seems to me that if in our leadership, we, in fact, are going to see as our role model Jesus himself like him. We need to be able to have passion, but we cannot have hysteria. We must be committed to our mission, but we can’t be blind to the changing environment around us. We must be focused, but we cannot be stubborn.

Bishop David Zubik: 30:44 We must be directed, but we cannot afford to be inflexible. Leadership is a people skill, first and foremost. It has to be practiced without ego. It is meant to serve and raise up others. There can be no selfishness in affective leadership. I was raised not too far away from here in the beaver county town of Ambridge. It’s about 18 miles northwest of where we are located now. It was a town back in the 1950s that made steel seven steel mills in that community of 17,500 people. The town was comprised mostly of immigrants and the daughters and sons of immigrants. Those people were as tough as their as their livelihoods. I can attest to that fact to the example of my grandparents who made such a deep impression on me. They were the people that worked in factories where we take a look at the steel mills that embrace the city of Pittsburgh.

Bishop David Zubik: 32:00 They were the ones who built those great structures. They built schools to educate their children. They built churches to worship God. Work was natural to them. Faith was natural to them and the combination of both was natural to them and they passed on those values to their children and their children, pass them onto us, their grandchildren, their work ethic and their devotion to service being not an option, but an obligation. In those days we were raised at home in our neighborhoods, in our church communities and our schools altogether, not disparate separate communities, but joined together. The message was the same wherever we went, Love God, work hard and do the right thing. I went to a Catholic grade school. I was taught by the Felician sisters and I remember sister Eugenia who supervised for that order all of the schools in which the sisters taught.

Bishop David Zubik: 33:11 She would visit the school at least two times a year, first of all, to come to make sure that the sisters were doing their jobs right, but also to leave some of the wisdom in her own mind and heart with the students whom she visited. Sister Eugenia visited my third-grade class in 1958. We were preparing to receive our first holy communion. She taught us a prayer that day as a preparation for receiving communion. She said, boys and girls, not only when you receive communion for the first time, but every time throughout your life when you receive him. Think about praying this prayer, Oh God, help me to receive you today as if it were my first communion, my last communion, my only communion now, 60 years later on June first this year. I remember that prayer as I learned, it’s seemingly yesterday and I try to remember the meaning of that prayer every day.

Bishop David Zubik: 34:21 There’s always the danger in your life and mine, that as we seek to become leaders, we can treat our lives and the lives of others as routine. We can never do that with the gift of life. As leaders, we have to understand that the missions we lead are vital and vital, especially as they connect to people’s lives. What drives us? What is the foundation of what we do? What makes us who we are are not our talents. As great as they might be, nor education, as extensive as that might be, and not our smarts, as smart as we might be. Rather, it is our passion for service that must drive leadership. If we are not rooted in that passion, if we are not rooted in our beliefs, our work becomes busy work. Our leadership becomes routine. Passion without works is dead and works with our passion are deadly routines.

Bishop David Zubik: 35:40 Perhaps what you and I need to do if we are serious about leadership in our own lives, we might want to remember the prayer of Sister Eugenia, Oh God, help me to lead today is if it were my first day of service, my last day of service, my only day of service. And so in closing, may I beg that God may bless you for all that you do and in the words that inspired blessing, which God gave me in the chapel at St Paul Seminary so many years ago. May the Lord, so continue to fire up your souls that many other people may be attracted to him and through you. So thank you.

Doug Smith: 36:33 Hey everyone. Thank you so much for listening to Bishop Zubik’s talk. I hope that you enjoyed it. You can find key takeaways, ways to connect with Bishop Zubik and so much more in the show notes at L3leadership.org/episode 193. Don’t forget, you can also listen to our question and answer session with Bishop Zubik and episode number 194 and you can listen to my interview with him in episode number 166. Both are worth your time. I encourage you to listen to both of those. As always, if this podcast added value to your life, it would mean the world to me if you’d subscribe and leave a rating and review and share on social media, that helps grow our audience. So thank you for that and thanks for being a listener. I never take one of you for granted, so thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening.

Doug Smith: 37:13 I want to thank our sponsor, Alex, Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty, and if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have the opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex and connect with him in Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. As always, if you want to stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at l three leadership, you can simply sign up for our email list on our website at L3leadership.org, and as always I like to end with a quote and I’ll quote Jim Roan today. He said this, he said, you can’t achieve beyond the level of your development. You don’t achieve goals. You grow into them. That is so good. You can’t achieve beyond the level of your development. You don’t achieve goals. You grow into them. Thank you for listening and being a part of L3 Leadership Laura and I appreciate you so much and we’ll talk to you next episode.