Sister Karen’s new book inspires everyone to step up and be the change

Sister Karen Lueck portrait“In order to become leaders, people need first to believe in themselves as good, with unique gifts and wisdom.” – Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Karen Lueck

Using the metaphor of cheerleading in her new book, “Cheering for the Good: Leading When It Matters,” Sister Karen urges readers to exercise leadership in their own corner of the world, using their unique gifts, collaborating with others, embracing our oneness and focusing on what’s right with the world. Good leaders inspire us to be our better selves. The models of leadership that can do this call for much more collaboration, compassion, inclusion, humility and integrity.

Q & A with author Sister Karen Lueck

Perspectives: Why did you write this book?
Sister Karen: The need for “Cheering for the Good: Leading When It Matters” is great. It lays bare the urgency of the issues confronting us at this time in history, and the scarcity of good leadership to deal with them. As so often happens in times of chaos, dysfunction and violent rhetoric, people feel hopeless, helpless and afraid. Many want to do something to make things better, but they don’t know what to do. They can’t seem to trust their own leadership and creativity, so, by default, they look to others to do something, while venting their rage by blaming and shaming.

People are hungry for a different viewpoint, one that will inspire rather than amplify their anxiety. I realized that I was in a unique position to offer wisdom from my own experience as a leader and a former cheerleader. This COVID-19 crisis has revealed an even greater urgency for this book. Many people have stepped up to focus on the good in their own neighborhoods. Once we get through this crisis, people will need resources to help them process what has happened, and create who we want to be in the future. Through my text and the reflection questions at the end of each chapter, readers can hopefully be informed and inspired to become the leaders we need now.

Perspectives: What is your favorite message in this book?
Sister Karen: I love a paragraph in the last chapter of the book, entitled “Standing on Holy Ground.” I am cheering for you to be the best leaders you can be. Remember, everyone is a leader, so you have plenty of partners in this mission. If any of you decide to sit this one out, to let someone else do it, to count on the experts to carry out our mission, we as a whole will be immensely poorer. And the earth and its creatures will suffer. We’re counting on each other. Together we commit ourselves, a tiny band of pilgrims, united in love, on a journey of transformation, to bring God’s life, love and presence to a world aching to be healed and transformed.

Perspectives: What are the top three things you hope readers take away?
Sister Karen: 
1) To convince ordinary people that they are basically good and have so much to offer;
2) To encourage readers to stand up and share their gifts and talents for the common good;
3) To remember that we are one with the whole planet and that together we can work wonders.

In her book, Sister Karen highlights proclamations of goodness and leadership she’s encountered.

“I love complimenting people on a wonderful service they have performed.” (Angela, page 17)
“I wrote my senator asking her to support the DACA legislation. This is the only home the Dreamers have ever known.” (Patrick, page 34)
“I write to a prisoner once a month to provide hope and connection.” (Jason, page 65)

Visit "Cheering For the Good" for more information on Sister Karen's book.


Tour Chapels
Explore our Ministries