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Aspirations based on the 4Ds of Appreciative Inquiry

  • To discover the spirituality of leadership of Saint Teresa of Avila
  • To dream the ideals of leadership between 15th& 21st centuries
  • To design an integrated formulas of leadership between centuries
  • To deliver an integrated upshot of leadership


  • 1515 March 28, born in Avila April 04, baptized in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist
  • 1528 Dona Beatriz de Ahumada, Teresa’s mother, dies
  • 1528 Teresa enters the convent school of Our Lady of Grace
  • 1535 Nov 02, Teresa leaves home and enters the Monastery of the Incarnation
  • 1536 Nov 02, Teresa receives the relgious habit at the Incarnation
  • 1537 Nov 03, Teresa makes her religious profession of vows at the Incarnation
  • 1538 Because of illness she leaves the Incarnation so as to undergo treatment in Becedas.
  • 1539 April, begins to undergo the treatments administered by the quack in Becedas.
  • July, returns seriously ill to her father’s home in Avila. August, lapses into a coma of four day’s duration. She is brought back to Incarnation with a paralysis which lasted for three years.
  • 1542 Teresa feels cured through the intercession of St Joseph. She gives up prayer
  • out of a false sense of humility.
  • 1543 December, Teresa takes care of her father and assists him in his death
  • 1548 Springtime, Teresa makes a pilgrimage to the shrine in Guadalupe for her brothers in America
  • 1562 July, finds in Avila the apostolic rescript for the foundation of St Joseph’s dated Feb 07.

Aug 24, foundation of  the new   monastery of St Joseph. December, Teresa moves to St Joseph’s with persmission of the provincial  and takes four nuns   from Incarnation with her.  Changes her name to  Teresa of Jesus.

  • 1563 Teresa is named prioress of St Joseph’s succeeding Ana de San Juan (Davila) who returns to the Incarnation. She writes the Constitutions for St Joseph’s which was approved by the bishop of
  • of Avila, Don Alvaro de Mendoza & by Pius IV in 1565.
  • 1567 Aug 15, the first foundation is made in Medina del Campo
  • Aug 16, Rubeo gives permission for two foundations of Teresian friars provided they are not made in Analusia
  • 1568 January, leaves Medina for Alcala to visit the new monastery of Maria de Jesus March, goes to Toledo and there agrees to make a foundation in Malagon
  • April, makes the foundation in Malagon
  • May 19, leaves Malagon for Valladolid, stopping in Toledo, Escalona, Avila, Duruelo and Medina
  • Aug 15, the foundation in Valladolid
  • In Valladolid, Teresa teaches St John of the Cross about her way of life. He afterwards sets out to prepare the house at Duruelo for the first foundation of friars, which is made Nov 28.

  • Duruelo and stops in Avila
  • March 24, arrives in Toledo
  • June 23, foundation of the nuns in Pastrana
  • July 13, foundation of the friars in Pastrana
  • 1570 Nov 01, the foundation in Salamanca
  • 1571 Jan 25, foundation in Alba de Tormes
  • 1573 Aug 25, Teresa begins writing her Foundations
  • 1574 March, the journey from Alba to Segovia with St John of the Cross for the foundation in Segovia on March 19.
  • 1575 Feb 24, foundation in Beas
  • May 29, foundation in Seville
  • 1576 Jan 01, the foundation in Caravaca made by Ana de San Alberto at Teresa’s orders
  • 1577 June 02, begins to write The Interior Castle
  • July, goes back to Avila
  • Nov 29, Teresa concludes The Interior Castle
  • Dec 24, she falls down the stairs at St Joseph’s and break her left arm, which is never set properly and leaves her incapacitated better judgment, and elect Antonio de Jesus superior.
  • Oct 16, Sega annuls the chapter’s decisions and places the Teresian friars
  • 1580 February, the foundation in Villanueva dela Jara
  • March, Teresa leaves Villanueva dela Jara and journeys to Toledo where she becomes seriously ill.
  • June, leaves Toledo for Segovia, passing through Madrid.
  • Dec 28, leaves Valladolid for Palencia and makes the foundation there the following day.
  • 1569 February, leaves Valladolid; passes through Medina, visits the new friars in
  • 1582 Jan 02, Teresa leaves Avila for the last time on the way to the new foundation in Burgos
  • Jan 20, the foundation in Granada is made by St John of the Cross and Ana de Jesus
  • Apr 19, the foundation in Burgos is finally achieved
  • Jul 26, Teresa leaves Burgos
  • Aug 02, stops off in Palencia
  • Aug 25, arrives in Valladolid
  • Sep 15, leaves Valladolid and arrives in Medina
  • Sep 19, leaves Medina and, at the order of Antonio de Jesus, goes to Alba de Tormes
  • Sep 20, reaches Alba de Tormes at six in the evening
  • Sep 29, goes to bed seriously ill never to get up again; announces that her death is at hand
  • Oct 03, receives the sacraments of reconciliation and of the sick
  • Oct 04, at nine in the evening dies “a daughter of the Church” at the age of sixty seven
  • The Gregorian Calendar was introduced that year so that the day following Teresa’s death became October 15
  • 1614 Apr 24, Teresa is beatified by Paul V
  • 1622 March 12, she is canonized by Gregory XV along with Saints Isidore, Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier & Philip Neri
  • 1970 Sep 27, she is declared a Doctor of the Church by Paul VI, and becomes the first woman saint to be so recognized 


An Integration

  • Collected Works of Saint Teresa of Avila volume 3, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD & Otilio Rodriguez, OCD (@Washington Province of Discalced carmelites, Inc. 1985) ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road NE Washington, DC 20002
  • Teresa of Avila The Interior Castle, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD & Otilio Rodriguez, OCD (@Washington Province of Discalced carmelites, Inc. 1979) ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road NE Washington, DC 20002
  • Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney. Loyola Press. 3441 N.Ashland Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60657. Copyright @ 2003
  • Leadership Excellence The Magazine of Leadership Development, Managearial Effectiveness, and Organizational Effectivity. Volume 29 No.3 The Global Leadership Development Resource. March 2012. Copyright © 2012 Executive Excellence Publishing.

Thinking Differently About Power

  • Women need to define power in terms that work for them.
  • Once they define power as the power to accomplish something for others, or for the good of us all, women are more willing to use their power.
  • Power-to makes one powerful. Power-over is passé; power-to is leadership.
  • Kim Campbell, first female prime minister of Canada, said: “Power exists.
  • Somebody will have it. If you would exercise it ethically, why not you? I love power. I’m power-hungry because when I have power I can make things happen.”


Leaders & Leadership
Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney p.92. copyright@2003.


  • A person “in charge”- the one running a company, heading a government, coaching a team, or captaining troops.
  • Influencing, visioning, persevering, energizing, innovating, teaching


  • Produces direct results, and the most effective leadership behavior produces immediate results.
  • Is about “defining moments”- the decisive battle, the championship game, the new business strategy.

Four Pillars of Leadership
 Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney p.26-35. copyright@2003.

Self-awareness:  “To order one’s life”

  • Leaders thrive by understanding who they are and what they value, by becoming aware of unhealthy blind spots or weaknesses that can derail them, and by cultivating the habit of continuous self-reflection and learning.

Ingenuity:  “The whole world will become our house”

  • Leaders make themselves and others comfortable in a changing world. They eagerly explore new ideas, approaches, and cultures rather than shrink defensively from what lurks around life’s next corner. Anchored by nonnegotiable principles and values, they cultivate the “indifference” that allows them to adapt confidently.

FIRST PILLAR: STA Self – Knowledge

Interior Castle

  • Chapter II par.8 – So it is with the soul in the room of self knowledge; let it believe me and fly sometimes to ponder the grandeur and majesty of its God…we shall practice much better virtue through God’s help than by being tied down to our own misery
  • Chapter II par.9 – Knowing ourselves is something so important that I wouldn’t want any relaxation ever in this regard, however high you may have climbed into heavens.  While on this earth, nothing is more important to us than humility.

STA Self-knowledge

  • The Interior Castle (par 9)… “Knowing ourselves is something so important that I wouldn’t want any relaxation ever in this regard. While on this earth nothing is more important to us than humility.”… “let’s strive to make more progress in self-knowledge. By gazing at His grandeur, we get in touch with our own lowliness; by looking at His purity, we shall see our own filth; by pondering His humility, we shall see how far we are from being humble.”
  • The Interior Castle (par 11)… “So I say daughters, that we should set our eyes on Christ and on His saints. There we shall learn true humility, the intellect will be enhanced and self-knowledge will not make one base and cowardly”.
  • The Interior Castle (par 13)… “How miserable the life in which we live! Because elsewhere I have said a great deal about the harm done to us by our failure to understand well this humility and self-knowledge. I’ll tell you no more about it here, even though this self-knowledge is the most important thing for us.  Please God, I may have now said something beneficial for you.

WHO AM I?  Self-knowledge
Revisiting Enneagram


  • By becoming aware of unhealthy blind spots or weaknesses that can derail them, and by cultivating the habit of continous self – reflection and learning. – The Jesuit Guide to almost everything. James Martin, S.J. (2010. p364-378)

The Remarkable leader, who is attuned, active and well-grounded, needs you to:

  • Discover the power of establishing a reciprocal relationship by replacing What’s in it for me? with What’s in it for us?
  • Be an ambassador by reinforcing strategy;
  • Act as a talent scout recruiting A-players.

The Perilous (dangerous) leader, who is intelligent, insecure and moody, needs you to:

  • reduce their sense of unrequited (not returned or not rewarded) work by emphasizing their contributions;
  • clothe the emperor by keeping it real in regards to employees’ issues and concerns; and
  • keep your boss focused on the power of providing positive affirmation and feedback.

The Toxic (poisonous) leader, who is suspicious,
arrogant and cold, needs you to:

  • leverage peerage through open communication with your peers;
  • develop and apply internal locus of control—a belief that you can control your own destiny through clarity about and confidence in your talents, experiences and accomplishments; and
  • decide if it’s in your best interest to stay or to go. This knowledge can influence more focused decisions about leaders.

Remarkable Leaders
Let’s recognize and support them.

by Karol M. Wasylyshyn

THE CANDIDATE IS bright, personable, accomplished, charismatic. But how do you tell if she is the

real thing or a narcissistic masquerade?

  • Employees need to spot the three main types of leaders, manage their boss’s difficult (or quirky) behavior, and navigate their own career future.

We need to identify remarkable leaders who can guide us toward success and support them in their growth.

  • Managers need to analyze and understand their own leadership types and make necessary adjustments.
  • How to manage three types of leadersRemarkable, Perilous and Toxic—and how to deepen a positive, learning relationship with a Remarkable boss; reinforce best behaviour and lessen discontented behaviours with a Perilous boss; and minimize a Toxic supervisor’s destructive effects on you and perhaps others.


  • Ingenuity: skill or cleverness that allows someone to solve problems, invent things, etc.– intelligence
  • The Foundations – chap 18 par. 9 – “There is  a nun who is among the best servants of God…with a deep spirituality…; yet she does not completely understand some points in the constitutions.”
  • The Foundations – chap 1 par. 3 – “Secretly, I called a sister, one of those with greater intelligence and talents, to test her obedience and told her to go and plant the cucumber in a little vegetable garden.  She asked me if she should plant it upright or sideways.  I told her sideways.
  • The Foundations – chap 1 par. 3- She went out and planted it, without the thought entering her mind that the cucumber would only dry up.  Rather, since she planted it out of obedience, she blinded natural reason so as to believe that what she did was very appropriate.”
  • The Foundations – chap 7- How one must deal with the nuns with melancholy.
  • par 9 “…they suffer more than death in themselves through afflictions, fantasies, and scruples, all of which they call temptations…indeed, I have great compassion for them, it is also right that all those living with them have it.”
  • In her Constitutions, the Rule of her Order, she describes in this way the young women whom she saw as candidates for this advanced prayer, with all the kinds of spiritual betrothal and mystical marriage that she had experienced herself:
  • The aspirants should be at least seventeen. And if they are not detached from the world, they will find the way we live here hard to bear. It is better to consider these things beforehand than to have to turn these persons away afterward.
  • Aspirants should be healthy, intelligent, and able to recite the Divine Office in choir…. If some of these qualities are lacking, she should not be accepted…. An applicant with whom the nuns are pleased should not be turned away because she has no alms to give the house….
  • When someone is accepted, it should always be done in accordance with the majority of women in the community…. They should spend a year before receiving the habit so that it may be seen whether they are fit for the demands of such a life, and so that they themselves may see whether they can bear up with it.
  • In The Way of Perfection, she teaches:
  • True humility consists to a great extent in being ready for what the Lord desires to do with you, and happy that He should do it. If contemplation, mental and vocal prayer, tending the sick, serving in the house, and working at the lowliest tasks are of service to our divine Guest, what should it matter to us if we do one of these things rather than the other?

Four Pillars of Leadership
 Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney p.26-35. copyright@2003.

Love: “With greater love than fear”

  • Leaders face the world with a confident, healthy sense of themselves as endowed with talent, dignity, and the potential to lead. They find exactly these same attributes in others and passionately commit to honoring and unlocking the potential they find in themselves and in others. They create environments bound and energized by loyalty, affection, and mutual support.

Heroism: “Eliciting great desires”

  • Leaders imagine an inspiring future and strive to shape it rather than passively watching the future happen around them. Heroes extract gold from the opportunities at hand rather than waiting for golden opportunities to be handed to them.


  • The Interior Castle – chap 2 par. 17
  • “…Let us understand that true perfection consists in love of God and neighbor; the more perfectly we keep these two commandments, the more perfect we will be. All that is in our rule and constitutions serves for nothing else than to be a means toward keeping these commandments with greater perfection.”
  • The Interior Castle – chap 3 par. 9
  • “It is important for us to walk with careful attention to how we are proceeding in this matter, for if we practice love of neighbor with great perfection, we will have done everything.”
  • The Interior Castle – chap 3 par. 8
  • “…and be certain that the more advanced you will be in the love of God, for the love His Majesty has for us is so great that to repay us for our love of neighbor He will in a thousand ways increase the love we have for Him. I cannot doubt this.


  • her-o-ism
  • great bravery
  • synonyms: bravery, courage, valor, intrepidity, boldness, daring, audicity, fearlessness, dauntlessness, pluck, stout-heartedness, lionheartedness
  • The Foundations – chap 2 par. 7- “O greatness of God!  How You manifest Your power in giving courage to an ant! How true my Lord, that it is not because of You that those who love You fail to do great works but because of our own cowardice and pusillanimity.  Since we are never determined, but full of human prudence and a thousand fears,
  • The Foundations – chap 2 par. 7 – “You, consequently, my God, do not do your marvelous and great works.  Who is more fond than You of giving, or of serving even at a cost to Yourself, when there is someone open to receive?  May it please Your Majesty that I render You some service and that I not have to render an accounting for all that I have received, amen.”
  • The Foundations
  • To make a life of prayer accessible for many other women, Teresa set out, from 1567, to found new convents. She had had five years since she founded her first new-style convent, St. Joseph in Avila. Over the remaining fifteen years of her life, this now 52 year old woman would found another 16. She did it under horrendous travel conditions. No modern road existed anywhere in Spain. She traveled on mule-back, in coaches, in stifling enclosed ox-carts.
  • The Foundations – Introduction p.42 (On Making a Foundation)
  • In making a foundation, Teresa developed her own method of procedure in which she adapted to circumstances. In foundations made in poverty, before starting off on the journey, she endeavored to rent a house that would serve as temporary dwelling until a house, or houses, suitable for a monastery could be bought.
  • The Foundations – Introduction p.42 (On Making a Foundation)
  • In foundations made with an income, the nuns first lived in the quarters of the founding benefactress until adaptations in the house destined to be the monastery were made
  • The Interior Castle – Introduction p.18 (Inspiration)
  • Despite her trials and ill health, Teresa held firmly to her belief that “obedience usually lessens the difficulty of things that seem impossible.”

Levels of Leadership

by Michael Devlin and Melvin Smith

Four Levels

Level 1: Self
  • leaders need to recognize that all leadership starts from within. Intentional Change Model developed by Richard Boyatzis
  • leaders come to realize that true selfawareness is an essential element of effective leadership. They grasp the importance of understanding their strengths and weaknesses, but also recognize the need to be in touch with their passions, dreams, and aspirations.
  • They are aware of, and true to, their core values, and have a clear sense of purpose or calling in their lives. Ultimately, they have for themselves a personal vision for the future. Leaders who understand the importance of leading oneself, however, also recognize the need to exhibit self-control. Their passion is tempered by patience, ethics, and good judgment
Level 2: Others
  • the capacity to ignite a fire within others,inspiring them to do more, to give more, and to be the best they can be. This requires an ability to make genuine, authentic connections with others, showing that you understand their needs and concerns, and care as well
Level 3: Organization
  • awareness that goes beyond understanding individuals and small groups to understanding the complex dynamics of the organization as a system
  • Leaders must recognize that their organization is not an isolated entity, but a system within a system.
Level 4: Society
  • Leaders have a role and a responsibility to lead within the broader society.
  • Truly outstanding leaders make a difference on a bigger stage. They have a favorable impact on their community, their country, and even the world.


  • Inspirational Leadership (Encyclopedia of Positive Questions, vol.2, p.29 by Diana Whitney, David Cooperrider, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Brian S. Kaplin. Copyright 2002)

People work best in the presence of inspirational leadership.  When leaders exhibit enthusiasm and commitment to the task or project, people will “go the extra mile” and do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Inspirational leaders bring out the best in people, they engage people in creating the organization’s vision and values, in-setting goals and objectives and in designing work processes.

  • Inspirational Leadership (Encyclopedia of Positive Questions, vol.2, p.29 by Diana Whitney, David Cooperrider, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Brian S. Kaplin. Copyright 2002)

Inspirational leaders balance the needs and interests of employees, customer and the business.  They encourage excellence in others as well as pursuing it themselves.  They lead by example and demonstrate integrity in all that they do.

1)Recall a time when you worked with someone you considered to be an inspirational leader.  Describe the situation.  What made it inspirational for you?  Who was the leader and what did she or he do that inspired you?

2)What do you most value and appreciate about leadership in your organization?

3)When people are in leadership positions, what two or three things can they do that will help you be the best you can be?

Saint Teresa’s Way of Prayer

  • Teresa’s way of prayer, which she taught the nuns of her convents, is the main topic of her writings and one of the principal values she brings to us since.
  • From an early stage, she describes her prayer thus:
  • I tried as I could to keep Jesus Christ, our God and our Lord, present within me, and that was my way of prayer. If I reflected upon some phrase of his Passion, I represented Him to myself interiorly.
  • The perfection of prayer did not consist, nor was it ever to be measured, in being rewarded with such favors. She found it far more important to persist in loving attention to God and Christ, despite the more normal lack of any such favors, despite even dryness and the lack of any sense of response.

Saint Teresa’s Legacy

© Copyright 2000-2011 Help Fellowship, Inc.

  • In our late 20th century, as women have so widely discovered their voice, Saint Teresa has gained a new public. Many in the women’s movement of our own time have come to know and care far more about her than, typically, Catholics do, and have found her an extraordinarily capable feminine figure, a woman who, in the 16th century, lived with the freedom and self-directedness that otherwise only men could enjoy, and led and influenced others, both men and women, in original, creative ways that put her among the leading figures of her time
  • Teresa had no illusions about herself. Often we find that saints complain of their own sinfulness in ways that leave us feeling they are mistaken, that they were really far better than they thought. That, and her sincere contrition for the wiles she had exercised on others around her, left her non-judgmental, superlatively able to accept and understand the faults of others, never expecting perfection from others while excusing herself. Her morality was directed, not toward finding what was wrong with everyone else, how it could be proven and how they could be punished for their offenses, but accommodating, finding instead how to live and cooperate with those who made themselves her enemies, forgiving them and herself in the effort to do something constructive.
  • She struggled against the popular culture of her time, with its relaxed, self-indulgent, thoughtless pleasure-cult alternating with frenzies of hurt pride and outbursts of cruel vengeance. Hardly another saint in the list had the counter-cultural skills she possessed, and exercised with such charm, ease of manner and fearlessness.
  • The fearlessness had its root in that great confidence in God that is the substance of the Good News we are all given, the sure and confident awareness that God is with us and we consequently need not fear, need not fear anything. Teresa had that, and it is the root perception behind her whole life of prayer. There was much to be done, and she could do it in face of whatever sort of opposition, even in the face of grave physical threat and moral intimidation, because Christ, her King, su Majestad, stood with her. And her attention must be given to him. That attention is the very manner of her prayer, and as she well knew, it is a kind of prayer natural to any of us, once we realize the truth of Christ’s presence with us, and within our reach
  • She had, too, an awareness that God called her to some special work. She is altogether improvisatory about it right down to the last, open to the leading from God that she will receive in the very events she lives through, and in that she marks out a way for us too. Her prayer, with its silences and its readiness to hear what God will let her know, is fundamentally a seeking to understand where God is leading her, a readiness to pursue His will as she will come to understand it, and to accept with good grace whatever sacrifices it may entail.

Let nothing disturb you,
Nothing affright you.
All things pass,
God is unchanging.
Patience obtains all:
Whoever has God
Needs nothing else.
God alone suffices

Personal Property of the Author:

Marissa Cos Alcantara, Ph.D.

Assistant Academic Director