Obedience September 28
In a true spirit of collegiality, the superior must avoid every trace of authoritarianism. He should not seek to subject his brothers to himself (Const. 14.4).
Christian authority is at the service of the mission of the group. The community forms a team in Christ with various roles for the achievement of its objectives. As servant of the communal vocation, the superior keeps the mission always before the eyes of everyone and so tries to guide them toward its realization. In exercising his own responsibility as leader, he searches for ways to influence the decision of the group by efforts at “pushing” toward an option or by “pulling” towards a point of view. These two methods have nothing to do with imposition, but with persuasion. Members can be “pushed,” that is, persuaded by the presentation of the facts of a situation or by the force of logic. Members can also be “pushed” by exposing the expectations of the Gospel, the Church, the Order or society and showing the satisfaction that comes from attending to them. Regarding strategies of influence by “pulling” members, the superior can make an effort to win their confidence by listening and collaboration, making himself a friend of their proposal. He can also “pull” by accenting points of agreement already shared and by exciting the members about the possibilities of his own point of view.
If you sweep too energetically, the dust will fly about. (Banen)