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Pope Francis: Why He Lives the Way He Lives

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By Hunter57
Words 1631
Pages 7
Hunter Tierney
Pope Francis: Why He Leads The Way He Leads
Book Report
9/22/15

This book was very influential and made many points that carried a tremendous amount of weight. Having been the first literature I have read about the Pope, I am truly amazed with the amount of change he has been able to impose on the Catholic Church. When thinking of Catholicism I envision centuries of practices that have not changed but when it comes to Pope Francis he envisions change and is acting on it. After reading this book I truly believe that he is going to be the change that the Catholic Church needs and that he will be able to have a positive impact not only on the followers of the Catholic Church but all people on our Earth.
What I found to be most intriguing about the book was the amount of examples it was able to include regarding the various aspects of leadership and what makes an effective leader in today’s world. These aspects were carried with the Pope from his entire Jesuit journey that was laid out in the 1500’s by Ignatius of Loyola. I found the back-story of Ignatius of Loyola’s creation of the Jesuit order of priests to be very intriguing. Ignatius of Loyola was one of the many examples that strengthened this books representation of how Pope Francis’s leadership traits translate into other walks of life. He demonstrates such positive attributes that can be utilized by people across the world. I found the most powerful part of the book to be the description of the Pope’s character and what he stands for in today’s world.
It was very hard to find weaknesses throughout this book but I found one aspect that could have made a difference would have been if the author had a personal relationship with the Pope. I understand that he also participated in the Jesuit lifestyle and experienced the journey that Pope did along with many other Jesuit Priests since the 1500’s. Regardless, a personal relationship could have made a huge impact on this book. Although he was able to interview other Jesuit’s who worked amongst the Pope, if Lowney had experienced how to Pope carries himself in person I feel that he would have been able to better describe and explain Pope Francis’s leadership styles.
Lowney depicts the leadership style of Pope Francis very well with both examples including the Popes journeys but also how he relates to the Catholic Church’s followers. He began as soon as pages 4 and 5 depicting how Pope Francis had took on his role of power within moments of being elected Pope. He was breaking traditions that maybe some Catholic people did not understand but he was setting a tone that will be felt for the entire time he spends leading the Catholic Church. He is willing to instill change through leading by example in instances like refusing the traditional red cape, making his own phone calls, and joining his cardinals on a bus ride rather than riding in his papal limo. He is telling the people he is has been elected to lead that he is own of them and although he is labeled as a higher up, that he is still a servant of the Lord placed on Earth to guide the people.
I found that leading by example is trend that Pope Francis has been setting since he has became Pope. When Lowley asked Fr. Paredes about what he learned from Pope Francis on page 30, I found his answer to be one that a lot of people can relate to whether it be with the Pope or other influential people in their lives. He states that he learned simply from watching the Pope and analyzing his character. He wanted to do what the Pope Francis did; he wanted to carry himself in the way the Pope did, he wanted to have the character that the Pope possessed. Character, is what speaks loudest about people and it is clear that the Pope has character that is quite admirable and speaks volumes about the type of person he is.
The Pope is certainly self-aware of the person he is and knows that although he is the Pope that he is a sinner to. On page 33 he states his self-awareness in various ways starting with recognition of weakness, second that he has been given gifts from the Lord, third that he is meant to offer his gifts to the people by leading. He is accepting of the person he is and his self-awareness allows him to get to know his followers much more. He has journeyed through life and has compiled experiences through his Jesuit past, which allow him to better understand his followers.
On page 151, the beginning of Pope Francis’s credo that says, “I look forward to the surprise of each day…” is how you want your leader to feel. He is a leader that takes advantage of each day he has on this Earth and wants to make a difference wherever possible. When you base your leadership of service you never know what each day will bring and you need to look forward to the possibilities that you will face. Although he has already lived such an amazing life full of experiences along his journey he is still excited to see and hear about the journeys that his followers are on.
After having read this book I do consider myself a leader in a sense but more than anything I realize that I need to continue to grow in order to be my best self. Learning about the various traits that leaders have and seeing them within myself have shown me how influential I can be not only towards my friends and family but also to people whom I may have never even met. Life is a journey and that became clear to me after reading how Ignatius of Loyola developed process of which Jesuit priests went through in the 1500’s and still endure today. On page 128, “be free from ambition or personal aims, which can cause so much harm to the Church, taking care to always put in the first place not your own self-fulfillment” this phrase in Lowney’s book made tremendous sense to me and help me gain more self-realization. I live by this everyday and although I want to see myself do good and go far in life I more than anything.
I found that the example of a banker recognizing that a co-worker did not forget where she came from relates to myself and experiences I have had. Not forgetting where one comes from is something that my boss has stressed to me since I began working for him two years ago. I work in a corporate insurance office that requires formal attire and an office environment but at the same time that is not how I grew up. Some of our clients and other employees are very high profile businessmen and businesswomen whose families were always business oriented. I on the other hand grew up in a much more blue-collar environment with parents that were self-employed that had to grind for every dollar they earned. Since I have worked there I have took experiences from my life and translated them into my work. When it comes to being a salesperson it is important to be honest with your clients above all else and customers appreciate transparency. I am using my attributes to my advantage in targeting more blue-collar areas and being able to understand this target market more than some of my co-workers. This has shown me that there is something to be said for people of all walks of life and even though I did not grow up in a business oriented family I can still translate my skills into an office environment and be just as effective as my counterparts.
The aspect of leadership that I plan to exercise going forward is self-awareness along with more time reflecting on myself. In order to lead one must be fully aware of their self and at my current age I still feel that there is so much for me to learn not only about the world and its people but also about myself. I need to get know myself so that I can truly find where I belong in this world and how I can better help the people on our Earth. To be self-aware is to be realistic and that is trait that leaders must have. Being part of the world’s community as an individual we must find out who we are and the role we are expected to play in order to have a true impact on others.
For one to become self aware they must take time to reflect on themselves and brainstorm ways that they can make a larger impact and be more effective in everyday life. The beginning of our class on Tuesday and Thursday’s with something as simple as a moment of silence to reflect on our days is something so simple yet so powerful. We all are moving at such a fast pace and sometimes forget to take a breathe and look around and what we have accomplished and who we have effected that we simply do not realize the small accomplishments that lead up to the much larger ones. I simply want to say thank you for reminding me of the importance of reflection not only on oneself but of the beauty of the world around us and how truly lucky we are to wake up each day with an opportunity to make a difference.…...

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