Book Review: Lead with Humility: Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis by Jeffrey A. Krames

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When Francis was elected, he was asked to step up on a short pedestal to greet the thousands who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

He refused, saying: “I like it down here.” He refused to put himself above anyone.

And that was within minutes of his election. He also asked the people gathered to say a prayer for him, also unprecedented, in essence saying he “would need all the help he can get.”

Another example: Before he became Francis, he was Bergoglio.

Bergoglio became known as the “Bishop of the Slums” of Buenos Aires.

There he would wash the feet of teenagers and youngsters who were hooked on “paco,” which was the poor man’s cocaine.

He also drank “mata,” the Argentinian tea with everyday people by roaming the back alleys of poor neighborhoods.

Whether you are a Roman Catholic or not, one thing is certain, Pope Francis has set an example to the world for both the secular and spiritual on grace and humility.

When Fortune magazine announced its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders, the top spot was awarded, not to a captain of industry, but to the new pontiff.

I was not surprised. His humility is legendary.

I was totally humbled by the lessons from this book. The lessons are not totally new, but they are an important reminder that there is go much power and grace in humility.

12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis

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 non-customers

Ranking

9/10

I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I expected.

Pope Francis has breathed new life into the Church. The author does a good job of looking at Francis’ humble, but far from meek, style and translating that to business leadership.

Several concepts spoke to me on a personal level as I build up a client base for my business.

This is a great book, short and well written, with important lessons on leadership and how to live in general.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials”). Here, he is serving notice to members of the clergy: It’s people first, then paperwork.”
  • “Pope Francis shows himself to be a leader who understands that leaders lead people, not institutions.”
  • “Leadership is the ability to articulate a vision and get others to carry it out.” -Jeffrey Krames
  • “If we can develop a truly humble attitude, we can change the world.”
  • “Let us never forget that authentic power is service.”
  • “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”

 

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