Leadership Lessons From Pope Francis

Are you one of the several people (Catholics and non-Catholics alike) around the world whose attention has been captured by Pope Francis’ seemingly counterintuitive way of leading?\r\n\r\nOf the several books written on him or by him (I stopped counting at 80 in a recent Amazon.com search), I want to share the leadership insights I gathered after reading Pope Francis: Why He Leads The Way He Leads, by Chris Lowney, best-selling author, former Jesuit seminarian, and managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co. He analyzes Pope Francis’ fundamental leadership approach and worldwide view to draw, among others, the following lessons and insights, applicable to religious and nonreligious leaders alike.\r\n\r\n• The importance of knowing yourself deeply, while, at the same time, living to serve others: Leaders need to lead themselves before attempting to lead others. They need to have a deep self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, and be at peace with them. At the same time, they need to transcend themselves to serve others. I think Pope Francis’ charisma is likely a result of how he radiates his inner peace.\r\n\r\n• The ability to immerse yourself in the world, while also withdrawing from it daily. Pope Francis’ Jesuit formation may explain how natural it seems for him to “roll up his sleeves” and connect with people of all walks of life. Yet this same Jesuit formation calls for withdrawing from the world every day to look at the big picture and remind ourselves of what our values and beliefs are.\r\n\r\n• Being capable to live in the present, revere the past, but create the future. A leader should seize the opportunity available today, and should stand for a set of beliefs and values learned from the past. At the same time, a leader should not fear to drive change where needed. Certainly Pope Francis is not shrinking from calling out the several changes that he sees are needed in the Catholic Church, both by the clergy and lay people.\r\n\r\nYou and I, independently of our religious beliefs and professional occupations, have a leadership choice to make: Lead by serving others, or lead by serving ourselves. I think incentives in the business and political arenas tend to favor the selfish-type of leadership. However, we have a choice to behave as spectators of this situation or to proactively behave the way we would like our leaders to behave.\r\n\r\nWhat will it be?\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Business Consultant, Facilitator, and Professional Coach\r\nwww.cannon.consulting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *