What have you learned about seeking spiritual guidance when dealing with risks, Metropolitan Ambrosius?

Metropolitan Ambrosius is the Bishop of the Diocese of Helsinki of the Finnish Orthodox Church.

Katja Alaja, 31.01.2013

He has a deep interest in the business world. For 19 years, Metropolitan Ambrosius was a member of the board of Tulikivi Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of heat-retaining fireplaces. Currently he is the Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau. He is also one of the contributors to Aalto EE’s new book on the sins of leadership.

How Does Spiritual Guidance Help When a Leader Is Taking Many Risks?

I think that every leader should have a coach, mentor or father confessor who does not tell the leader what he should do, but rather helps him to see the problems from many angles. In my church, a person should meet with a spiritual counsellor. It is a continuous process of short or long talks which help the person to clarify his priorities in life. Everybody also needs a couple of close friends with whom they can talk freely.

We Are Living in Turbulent Times in Business. How Can a Leader Best Cope in this Situation?

Leaders need to have a clear identity and deep self-confidence. The renowned Austrian philosopher and psychologist Viktor Frankl said that people who survived the concentration camps discovered a meaning for their lives. This sort of person finds opportunities to be creative and innovative even in uncertain times.

What Is the Meaning of Risk?

Risk helps a person to realize the limitations around him, which is half the battle. One should not fear problems that arise, but see them as opportunities to orientate in a new way. German philosopher Nietzsche said that crises are powerful stimulants in life. Society needs entrepreneurs and other risk-takers because they move the culture forward.

Does Risk Stress You?

Even if I am sensitive by nature, I am not overwhelmed by pressure. I have a strong belief in providence and I have a lot of professional experience in coping with risks. Already at the age of 21 I worked as the rector of an adult education institute, and later on I borrowed a great deal of money to reconstruct the New Valamo monastery at HeinaÅNvesi, Finland and to acquire the Cultural Centre Sofia here in Helsinki.

PROFILE MAGAZINE 1/2013 page 6
TEXT: KATJA ALAJA

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