Pope Francis' management style has received a great deal of analysis. In the Peace column of the Peace Weekly the writer introduces us to a recent book published by the American Management Association, Lead with Humility:12 leadership Lessons from Pope Francis. The author, Jeffrey A. Krames, is Jewish, he also wrote the book about the management style of Jack Welch of General Electric.
contents of the book shows that a good leader is one who mixes with
those with whom he works, leaves his office, cuts down on exorbitant
meals, and other excessive expenses, and dispenses with many of the
privileges of his office. He encourages his priests and laity to widen
their experience and being an example of what to do by doing it. The
pope goes outside of the borders of the Church trying to bring all
closer to God. Humility is the virtue that he exemplifies in his life.
if we are not interested in the way Krames expresses the management
style of the pope, we understand his actions from our common faith
life. As soon as he became pope he visited the island of Lampedusa. He wanted to be with the refugees who were looking for work. On his
birthday he invited the homeless to be with him at table.
need not go to the news for information on the pope's informality for
we saw it on his visit to Korea this past August. He refused a chair,
and stood with the handicapped for an hour. We no longer see this as
something exceptional but see it as who he is.
The word 'audience' used with the pope clashes with what he
has shown us. In
the Korean dictionary the word audience is defined: "to visit someone
you respect, a formal meeting with one in a higher position." The word
in the past was used in meeting the king or the pope. The process was
complicated. In Korea on the visit to the Qing dynasty emperor the Qianlong Emperor (Chien-lung) of China a Korean history book mentions
the long kneeling, bowing, raising the buttocks and crawling for the
audience. In the West an audience with the emperor in the third century
required the kissing of his feet before the audience.
columnist reminds us in the status society of the past to look a person
in the eyes was not permissible, for those in a supposedly lower level
in society. With the pope we have selfies taken with smartphones. No
longer is he living in the apostolic palace but in the house for
pilgrims. Does the word 'audience' fit with Pope Francis when we see
what was meant in the past?
The pope's meeting with
those who are alienated from society and his warm greetings to all, the word 'audience'.... No matter how much the columnist tries, the word does not fit.