My PhD is in spirituality and leadership, so I was really interested to read an article this morning discussing what the Pope can teach us about leadership. I’m not a Catholic, but I have been really impressed by some of the actions Pope Francis has taken. He is clearly living in accordance with his beliefs – starting with the washing of the feet of some of the most alienated people in society – and, as this article shows, he walks his talk.
The research on leadership shows clearly that people look for leaders they can trust, and authenticity (walking the talk, living by your beliefs and being willing to stand up and stand out for what you believe in) is an important element in creating that trust. So is the ability to trust others through delegation. The best leaders give opportunities to their people, they stretch them, they rejoice in their development. And they recognise that, to be a truly successful leader you cannot do it on your own.
As a student of what makes a good leader, I have looked at many leadership models, including authentic leadership and servant leadership, and the Pope incorporates many of these models into his leadership style.
If you are in a leadership role, or you aspire to move into a leadership role, then the current Pope is a powerful example of what good leadership looks like, irrespective of whether or not you support his religious views.
You can read the full article on the 7 management lessons of Pope Francis here, and if you’re interested in seeing a copy of a paper I wrote on the subject of leadership and spirituality, leave a comment in the comments box below.