Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis

On March 20th, 2014 Fortune announced its World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. At the top of that list was Pope Francis.

Fortune writes “Just over a year ago, a puff of white smoke announced the new spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world. In the brief time since, Francis has electrified the church and attracted legions of non-Catholic admirers by energetically setting a new direction. He has refused to occupy the palatial papal apartments, has washed the feet of a female Muslim prisoner, is driven around Rome in a Ford Focus, and famously asked ‘Who am I to judge?’ with regard to the church’s view of gay members. He created a group of eight cardinals to advise him on reform, which a church historian calls the ‘most important step in the history of the church for the past 10 centuries.’”

How did a man who spent his life laboring in slums far from the Vatican manage to achieve so much so quickly? Jeffrey Krames, author of Lead with Humility, believes the answer lies in his humility–and the simple principles that spring from it.

Krames develops 12 principles of leadership from his observation of Pope Francis’ life and example:

1. Lead with Humility
2. Smell Like Your Flock
3. Who Am I to Judge?
4. Don’t Change – Reinvent
5. Make Inclusion a Top Priority
6. Avoid Insularity
7. Choose Pragmatism over Ideology
8. Employ the Optics of Decision Making
9. Run Your Organization Like a Field Hospital
10. Live on the Frontier
11. Confront Adversity Head-On
12. Pay Attention to Noncustomers

If you would like to learn more about Pope Francis’ example of leadership and how these principles can be applied to the business world, then please join us on October 7th for our Soundview Live webinar: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis. It is sure to be an interesting conversation.

New Summaries to Be Successful in Any Role

We have to be responsible for our own learning and be able to use and apply this newly found knowledge as a competitive advantage. Whether it’s change, feedback, or an innovative mindset, we need to be able to have a process or framework to overcome these everyday challenges to drive success and business. Soundview has three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries that help you effectively learn to be successful in any role.

by Josh Linkner

by Josh Linkner

The Road to Reinvention by Josh Linkner

The most successful companies, brands, and individuals constantly are reinventing as a part of their business strategies. Change is inevitable, but it’s up to you to either ignore it or use it to your advantage. In The Road to Reinvention, Josh Linkner identifies six elements in any business that are ready for reinvention and shares examples, methods, and step-by-step techniques for creating deliberate, productive disruption.

 

ThanksfortheFeedback

by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

When we are constantly receiving feedback, it’s easy to dismiss it. However, feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development. Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen explain why getting feedback is so crucial yet challenging in Thanks for the Feedback. The authors offer a powerful framework for interpreting comments, evaluations, and unsolicited advice in ways that enable effective learning.

 

by G. Shawn Hunter

by G. Shawn Hunter

Out Think by G. Shawn Hunter

Creativity and innovation are important for competitive advantage in business. In each chapter of Out Think, a key component is presented and techniques are described to show how the idea can be implemented to ultimately drive the change that leaders want in their organizations. G. Shawn Hunter encourages readers to develop innovative practices that make a difference.

How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance

FROM SCHOOLS TO BEER AND MUCH MORE

Emotional and spiritual uplift, write authors Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris in Uplifting Leadership, is at the heart of effective leadership. “It raises people’s hopes, stirs up their passions, and stimulates their intellect and imagination,” they write. But there’s also a social and community component to uplifting people – helping people to rise above difficult circumstances, to raise their prospects, the authors write. And combining all this emotional, spiritual and social power, uplifting leaders can help people improve their performance and results, inspiring them to do better than ever before and outperform their opponents.

Both Soft and Hard

According to the authors, the process of uplifting leadership involves six interrelated factors. “Each of these factors,” the authors explain, “also exhibits some inner tensions between what people conventionally consider to be “soft” and “hard” parts of leadership and management.”

Dreaming with Determination. The uplifting journey begins by defining a dream, but that depends on determination to overcome the inevitable setbacks.

Creativity and Counterflow. Uplifting leadership inspires creativity that often goes against the mainstream.

Collaboration with Competition. Part of the counterintuitive approach of uplifting leadership is the willingness to collaborate with actual and potential competitors.

Pushing and Pulling. Team members are going to push each to accomplish more, to meet above-normal expectations. But they will also support each other, helping those who have fallen down or behind, as they are all united by a common purpose.

Measuring with Meaning. As the authors write, “Uplifting leadership makes extensive use of data to manage and monitor progress but also uses data intelligently in ways that fit the values of the organization – and that are meaningful to and genuinely owned by the people who work there.”

Sustainable Success. Uplifting leaders are focused on success, but at the same time they want that success to be sustainable.

The authors are academics and consultants in the field of education policy, and several examples involve the amazing turnaround of school districts and education systems in the U.S., U.K. and Finland. For example, the school district of Hackney, a northeast London borough and one of the most disadvantaged communities in England, makes a compelling case for the power of collaboration with competitors. Taken over by a nonprofit company, the district is divided into the U.K. equivalent of charter schools. The charter schools are not independent islands, however, but work closely together so that students in all schools succeed. The authors detail how the experience of one successful principal taking over a second school that was failing evolved into a system of school-to-school networks called federations.

The authors move beyond education for most of the detailed case studies that pack their chapters. One example is of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, one of the most successful craft breweries in the U.S. Dogfish exemplifies counterintuitive creativity through its decision to put ingredients in its ales that, write the authors, “were inconceivable in mainstream beers.” The brewery also collaborated with one of its major competitors to create an alternative beer. Finally, Dogfish illustrates the foresight of sustainable success, having refused venture capital to avoid too much debt.

The authors present an inspiring picture of leadership. It all starts with a dream, but success is built on hard work, determination and the courage to do the unexpected.

To receive book reviews every week by email, sign up for our Executive Book Alert.

Book Review: Elevate

elevate

by Rich Horwath

Every leader and manager in business wants to be known as strategic and be able to execute good strategy. However, more than half of all companies say that strategic thinking is the skill their senior leaders most need to improve. In Elevate, strategy expert Rich Horwath provides leaders and managers an approach that will drive results for both the short- and long-term. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

As Horwath writes, “Using the lens of new value on the ideas, projects, initiatives and tactics proposed each day provides a powerful filter for eliminating meaningless activities. It forces you to more closely examine why things are being proposed and pursued instead of just what is to be done.” Horwath shares with leaders a powerful framework called the Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking. His three-discipline approach breaks strategy down into its fundamentals: Coalesce, Compete and Champion. The first discipline coalesce means leaders must have the ability to blend together strategic insights into meaningful differentiated value. The second discipline, compete, which helps leaders gain motivation to try harder. Champion, the third discipline, means leaders have managed time, influenced others, and continually developed new skills, all critical to success. With this approach, you will gain a new way to strategic thinking that will elevate you from your competition.

You will also learn how to use a concrete framework to keep your career vital through innovation and inspiration. Most leaders think strategy and innovation are separate ideas, but when you combine them together you have a powerful tool to conquer any challenge. Your career depends on being strategic. With Elevate, executives will be able to practice strategic thinking daily to guide their business.

Book Review: The Purpose Economy

the_purpose_economy

by Aaron Hurst

Over the past decade in the American economy, many people have been turning their innovative ideas into big businesses. Millennials have been ignoring conventional career paths to start their own companies, freelance, or help our local communities. From these ventures, millennials feel a great deal of purpose in their careers. In The Purpose Economy, entrepreneur Aaron Hurst, points out that purpose is the new driver in the American economy. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

As Hurst writes, “The Purpose Economy describes the new context and set of ways in which people and organizations are focused on creating value, and it defines the organizing principle for innovation and growth. It is an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers — through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community.” Hurst presents to us the three types of purpose that represent the needs the Purpose Economy addresses: personal purpose, social purpose, and societal purpose.

The Purpose Economy also offers insight on how to achieve and manage purpose for yourself and your organization. Hurst writes that before you can create purpose, you must first be self-aware. The first approach to maintaining purpose is task-focused purpose, meaning that you first need to overcome task-related challenges. The other approaches include impact-focused by seeing how your work impacts others, focus on your own identity, and financial drivers of purpose. Readers will also learn how other companies are creating value and purpose within their businesses. The Purpose Economy will help not only build a successful organization but also human-centered markets to create purpose for employees and customers alike.