Thursday, July 16, 2015

The 15 diseases of leadership, according to Pope Francis ..

Pope Francis, removing the "inviolable sanctity"
from religious leadership across the world ! 

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.- Frank A. Clark

What more to say of the great article that appeared in Harvard Business Review by Gary Hammel, April, 2015 issue, than say in short - to have a healthy church we need healthy leaders !!

Here is the HBR link ..

This is a great article which stresses not on the qualities and characteristics of leaders nor looking at how leaders are made or born, instead it throws light on the diseases that afflict leadership across global organisations (in the Catholic Church), but definitely it has great annotations, reverberations and meanings in different organisations around the world.

I have come across many instances where due to the pettiness, low intelligence and poor leadership qualities of church leaders, many a sincere and devout christian has been driven away from the church. That is the most saddest part of spirituality !

As every great management leader talks of qualities of good leadership or characteristics of a good leader, equally important are the diseases that afflict leaders, especially spiritual leaders.

Other leaders, mainly political or organisational leaders, ebb or vane in their popularity and appeal. That does not happen with spiritual leaders who are wedded to leadership for life, even if they are very ineffective and self-centered with the afflictions of dysfunction and infirmity..

Pope Francis writes this article criticising his fellow Bishops and their proclivities to self-piety and other diseases mentioned in the article.

A leadership team which does not do a self check on itself is a dead log and a sick body.
The various diseases of leadership as listed by Gary Hamel are given here, These are interesting and afflicts every leader, great and small.

1. The disease of leadership thinking that they are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable - practice humility ..
2. Another disease is excessive busyness - by being excessively tied to one's job, and forgetting to relax, the leaders are making themselves less efficient. Learn to relax at times with family and friends
3. Disease of mental and [emotional] petrification. - the inability to empathise with the sad and the joyful, alike.
4. The disease of excessive planning and of functionalism - by being excessively systematic, the leaders are compartmentalising themselves, not allowing flexibility and spontaneity to help leaders lead people.
5. The disease of poor coordination. - not looking at the co-ordination of members of the group, church or organisation
6. A sort of “leadership Alzheimer’s disease. - forgetting the roots which nurtured and brought up the leaders
7. The disease of rivalry and vainglory.- leaders should not look at their interests but that of others
8. The disease of existential schizophrenia - not being in touch with ordinary people
9. The disease of gossiping, grumbling, and back-biting - resorted to by cowards, be on the look out to destroy the terrorism of gossip !
10. The disease of idolizing superiors - for selfish needs and self-aggrandisement resorted to by small minds..
11. The disease of indifference to others - not helping others to excel and instead enjoying their downfall
12. The disease of a downcast face - putting on a face of melancholy and sourness, is wrongly attributed to being busy, which on the other hand is a symptom of insecurity and fear.
13. The disease of hoarding - the disease of accumulating material goods even beyond one's needs only pulls leaders back in the journey of life
14. The disease of closed circles - where belonging to a clique or coterie, slams leaders shut from reality of the outside world
15.  The disease of extravagance and self-exhibition - the uncontrollable urge of using whatever means to acquire and sustain power, wealth and fame.

Pope Francis could not have put it in more clear terms. This comes from his heart and it is high time the spiritual leaders of the world, give heed to this. Gary Hammel could not have illustrated it better. These issues afflict leaders across organisations, spiritual and otherwise, and every leader to be effective and endearing in the long run, has to be able to keep a distance from them.

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