An ABC newscast recently featured Pope Francis and emphasized that he is living simply and that his life-style is having a profound effect on people – Catholics and non-Catholics alike. His impact has been so great that Time Magazine named him its 2013 Person-of-the-Year.
It seems that throughout history, we have had so many leaders surround themselves with all things majestic. They use material things to show the rest of us that they are the leaders. They are above us. They separate themselves from us. They are the leaders and their surroundings express their supreme position.
Then we have leaders like Gandhi and Mother Teresa. They are leaders who walk with the people – not above them – and they are leaders who truly make a difference.
Gandhi summed up his leadership style with this simple quote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mother Teresa explained her philosophy of leadership when she said, “Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person.”
Pope Francis seems to fit the Gandhi/Mother Teresa mold and maybe he is teaching all leaders that we don’t need to be surrounded by all the hoopla. Instead, it is leading simply that has the most impact on those we lead. “Don’t wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor,” he said in describing his leadership values.
Leaders can learn from these leaders by living simply and leading simply.