Fast Company aren’t known for commenting on religion but here, Willian Vanderbloemen is very positive about what leaders can learn from the Pontiff.
Visiting the U.S. this week, Pope Francis is showing off a leadership style we can all learn from.
“Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.” Those were the words shared—on Twitter—by Pope Francis, Time’s “Person of The Year” in 2013, who assumed the pontificate that year and has since projected a transformational leadership style.
Those who aren’t spiritual leaders should also rethink what their most important responsibilities are—people over processes, names over numbers.
That approach has earned him titles like “Holy Reformer” and “The People’s Pope.” In New York City today on a visit to the United States, Pope Francis reflects not just the changing tenor of the Catholic Church but evolving ideas about leadership itself. That makes his trip this week a perfect time for entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, and other leaders of all stripes to reflect on their own leadership styles. Here are five lessons all of them can learn from the Pope’s.
Pope Francis is arguably best known for availability and openness to the public. On his first day as Pope, he reversed the tradition of blessing the people by inviting them to bless him instead. He’s since decided to ride in a bus with his team rather than in a bulletproof limousine. Pope Francis has also been seen getting around Rome in a Ford Focus and a Fiat during his U.S. visit.
Personal, handwritten thank-you notes and birthday lunch invitations to the homeless of Rome take priority in his schedule and exemplify his leadership vision.
Those who aren’t spiritual leaders should also rethink what their most important responsibilities are—people over processes, names over numbers. Accessibility sows trust and loyalty among colleagues and customers, making other transformations possible.
The Pope is a tweeting aficionado. His primary Twitter handle (@Pontifex) is the English-language equivalent of eight others—in Latin, Arabic, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German. And the English account alone has 7.3 million followers. In other words, communication matters, especially digitally.
Social media has proved one of the most effective—and democratic—mediums for influencing current generations. Its 140-character interface is clear, concise, and relatable, whether you’re a Starbucks barista, a Fortune 500 CEO, or anyone in between. For any business leader who has an idea to offer or a message to convey, social media is the main avenue for doing so. But bear in mind that the social sphere is about sparking conversation, not dictating from on high. The Pope’s tweets are popular not just because he’s the Pope, but because they’re humble, inviting, and pluralistic.
Pope Francis bypassed bureaucracy and reevaluated his organizational structure. He started with his own title, changing it from the “Supreme Pontiff” to the “Bishop of Rome.” Upon adjusting and delegating some of the papacy’s traditional responsibilities, he took a radical approach to age-old customs and rearranged his management team, reducing its sense of hierarchy.
As a result of Pope Francis’s innovative methods, the organization of the papacy got flatter. As a result, the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work referred to him as an “intrepreneur”—someone who generates genuine, sustainable change in an organization that’s resistant to it.
In the first few months of his papacy, Pope Francis took risks.
Flattening an organization can be one of the best ways business leaders can institute their vision without relying on the prevailing means. Restructure, revamp, and realign so that the top leadership drives the vision, and the subsequent layers can execute and sustain it.
In the first few months of his papacy, Pope Francis took risks. He made unprecedented claims and unconventional decisions. “To listen and to follow your conscience means that you understand the difference,” he wrote, reaching out to atheists and agnostics. He also proclaimed a year of jubilee for women who’ve had abortions but have since chosen to reflect on the Church’s teachings on the issue. It’s worth nothing that in both cases, Pope Francis didn’t revise Catholic doctrine, but his leadership style offered a refreshing new perspective to many who might have previously felt shut out.
In the business world today, many leaders are blinded by the fear of failure. Big changes are hard to make—they take time, and often many people, to institute—but messages are easy to change. Still, risk is vital to your business’s growth and your own development as a leader. Risk can help you rise, even though it sometimes leads to failure. But it will always prove a worthy teacher. Read more here……5 Leadership Lessons From Pope Francis | Fast Company | Business + Innovation