Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Choose Unshakeable Joy

Written by: on February 23, 2024




Our brains, a territory yet to be fully discovered, and underutilized.  I came face to face with truly understanding how very little we actually know about our own brains as a parent who has had to journey with all three of my children having some sort of neural divergence.  My oldest having autism as my first experience as a parent not knowing if what I was experiencing in my parenthood was “normal” or not?  It took until he was 4 and in preschool for them to tell us he was “different” and off we went to testing after testing and waiting over a year for an appointment with a psychiatrist only to hear that he had autism (not a surprise) but also mild retardation (a shocking prognosis to hear honestly) and that he would eventually plateau in his learning.  A true Joy sucker punch, and categorically untrue.  We then had to wrestle with neural divergence when our second child developed Epilepsy as an infant.  It was then when I walked through threshold learning when a brilliant pediatric neurologist at Stanford University noted “we don’t know what causes epilepsy, we know and understand only a small percentage of the brain”!  What?  Truly amazing, and yet another sucker punch to the joy center, what are we doing wrong as parents?  And then finally last year, after years of holding our breath, to get a preliminary diagnosis of ADHD for our youngest.  JOY…. Where are you?

In Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder book Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People you Lead, they dive into how our Fast-Track thinking can help us as Leaders.  Earlier in our Doctoral studies, we read Kahnemans Thinking Fast and Slow.  In this book, Kahneman made the following Distinctions: our “System 1 thinking: is fast, unconscious, automatic, effortless, without self-control and does 98% of our thinking”[1] and our “System 2 thinking: is slow, deliberate, conscious and with self-control”[2].  My take on this reading was learning how to take advantage and utilize our “slow thinking” more.  It is here where I feel Warner and Wilder tap into perhaps helping us utilize our “fast thinking” in a more efficient way. Warner and Wilder say “our fast-thinking is our right brain, master system, maintains our identity and optimizes engagement”[3] and our “slow-thinking is logical, conscious, strategic, problem solving”[4].  In first comparing these thinking theories, they seem opposite, but I wonder what it would look like to blend them?  I felt in Kahneman’s book he was encouraging us to tap into slow thinking in order to bring about strategy and logic? Did I remember that right? And our fast thinking is where we spend most of our time.  This is where, for me Warner and Wilder help us to also, not instead of, tap our fast thinking as well to move into our right brain relational thinking.  They introduce us to RARE leadership: “Remain relational, Act like yourself (Authenticity?), Return to joy, and Endure hardship”[5].  All of these “choices” are part of our fast-track thinking!

It is one thing to learn about all these ways to tap into our brain potential and a whole other story on figuring out “how” to tap into these potentials.  In Rare Leadership the authors addressed in their chapter “where to start” to do the following which I found helpful: Imitation, Identity, and Imitation.   When explaining my doctorate pursuit to others, I find myself educating on the difference between and Ph.D and thesis and a DLd and its project base thesis, it’s taking research and practicing out in the world our thesis.  We will spend our lives “practicing” leadership, and I find that freeing…we won’t perfect it, but in practice we will move closer.  In our doctorate we have been encouraged to find a life coach to help us discern.  I find that this chapter in Rare Leadership helpful when trying to start.  Finding our mentors!  People who we want to “imitate”[6], and find “allies or Identity” [7](those who journey with us), and “intimacy”[8] with God.  So, in my own words, find those you want to emulate, watch them, follow them, find those who walk with you, who encourage and rally behind, and then retreat, find intimacy with God.  These seem like a great survival guide for Leadership.  My first true mentor was a husband-and-wife team, Randy and Susan Reese, who were true mentors to me in college.  Randy has written a book with the former campus pastor at Bethel College in Minnesota Keith Anderson, called Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction.  In this the authors state “Christian faith is an imitative faith. It always has been”.[9]  They note that Jesus begins all discipleship the same way. “We are forever students: we are forever taught.  Each one who hears the words of Jesus, first to follow and then to go and teach others to obey, stands in a long line of disciples that originated with the twelve followers hand-picked by Jesus, the rabbi-carpenter of Nazareth”.[10]  If we are to lead, we must be lead! First find yourself a good mentor, who do you want to imitate?

For me, the one’s I want to imitate are those who follow RARE leadership.   I am drawn to those who relational, authentic, return to joy (choose UNSHAKABLE JOY), and endure hardships!  As a parent, I feel I have definitely endured hardships and the unshakeable joy of this, is that I have found a way to stand back up, dust myself off, and work as hard as I can to remain relational and authentic!  What a beautiful challenge this book brings us!

[1] www.suebehavioraldesign.com

[2] www.suebehavioraldesign.com

[3] Warner, Marcus and Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy and Engagement in the People you Lead. (Chicago, Moody Publishers, 2016) 27.

[4]  Warner and Wilder, 26.

[5] Ibid, 46.

[6] Ibid,106.

[7] Ibid, 109.

[8] Ibid, 108.

[9] Anderson, Keith and Reese, Randy.  Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction. (Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 1999),15.

[10] Anderson and Reese,16.

About the Author


Jana Dluehosh

Jana serves as a Spiritual Care Supervisor for Signature Hospice in Portland, OR. She chairs the corporate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee as well as presents and consults with chronically ill patients on addressing Quality of Life versus and alongside Medical treatment. She has trained as a World Religions and Enneagram Spiritual Director through an Anam Cara apprenticeship through the Sacred Art of Living center in Bend, OR. Jana utilizes a Celtic Spirituality approach toward life as a way to find common ground with diverse populations and faith traditions. She has mentored nursing students for several years at the University of Portland in a class called Theological Perspectives on Suffering and Death, and has taught in the Graduate Counseling program at Portland Seminary in the Trauma Certificate program on Grief.

4 responses to “Choose Unshakeable Joy”

  1. mm Dinka Utomo says:

    Hi Jana! What a great post, thank you!

    Let me ask two questions.
    How can the concept of copying people we like, seeking allies on our journey, and cultivating a relationship with God contribute to a strong survival strategy for leaders?
    Can you describe your personal experience with your first genuine mentors, and how they affected your study years?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:


      good questions, I think finding those you find characteristics you find admirable or successful or whatever words, and watching them, what do they do, say, how they take care of themselves is great way to choose, and to find those on the journey with you.

      As far as my first mentors, they were prophetic mentors, they saw my potential, they are the first to really develop me as a leader, when I had always hesitated when others said that of me (I was painfully shy in high school). they spoke into my life…they saw me!

  2. Oh, Jana, I love reading your posts because you are so warm, academic, inviting, and caring. My oldest son who is now 26, is on the spectrum, so I resonated with the beginning of your post.
    Based upon your post I have 2 easy questions.

    1. Is a PhD the same as a DLD?
    2. What is the best wisdom your mentor has directly or indirectly given you?

    Thanks lady!

  3. mm Jana Dluehosh says:

    Thanks Todd, I feel the same way about your posts!

    Ph.d and DLD are both doctorates but the way I look at it, is a Ph.D is taking a look at cutting edge research around an idea, a thesis. A Dld is taking the research and finding a way to put it into practice out into the world. It’s a practical doctorate, so like an MD, who practices medicine, we practice leadership.

    Best wisdom to start my journey into leadership was speaking truth into my life of the leadership qualities they saw in me, but also helping me understand how to use that within my denomination or how to move outside of it. They didn’t tell me to leave my denomination but they were very encouraging for me to find my own way!

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