Note: this blog is not about religion, it’s about integrity.
The Pope has just resigned. He has stepped down from his position. He stated that as a result of aging, his health had deteriorated to the point he couldn’t perform his duties at a satisfactory level. One article stated he doesn’t feel he has the physical capability of carrying on his stewardship in the manner required for the church and its parishioners.
Wow! What a lesson in leadership. I guess this is very rare since it hasn’t occurred in nearly 600 years. How often does this occur in other positions of leadership such as a manager (at any level), supervisor or foreman?
I want to applaud his decision and his leadership by making a few points:
Standards – He set his standards very high. Since he felt he was unable to meet his own standards, he stepped down. He didn’t have to be asked to step down or just occupy his position until death.
Humility – Since this has not occurred in nearly 600 years, I assume that all of his predecessors died while holding their position. Did each one of them perform their position to the highest standards until their death? Evidently, this Pope decided to step down and let someone he had more confidence in step in and take over. It takes a huge amount of humility to step down when you feel you are not performing at a high level. Confidence and humility can reside in the same person. Pride is a very dangerous partner.
Stewardship – Every person that is placed in a position of leadership is also granted the responsibility of stewardship. They may be stewards of an organization’s money, time, customers and team members. They have a responsibility to treat these as they would their own.
The Pope didn’t feel he was physically capable of carrying on his stewardship. How many managers, supervisors and foremen are physically capable of being a good steward of an organization’s resources but don’t have the knowledge to effectively utilize the tools and authority given to them. That is a failure of their leadership.
How many managers, supervisors and foremen have the knowledge to effectively utilize the tools and authority given to them but don’t have the GUTS to use them? That is also a failure of their leadership because of a lack of accountability.
None of us may have the responsibility or authority of The Pope but if you are a manager, supervisor or foreman, you have the same authority and responsibility on a smaller scale. You are a steward. The livelihood of good people depends on you using the tools you have available to develop others and improve your organization.
It’s as simple as your leader asking to see your documentation of developing others for the past year. If we don’t have it, we aren’t improving our team.
How many of us were told this when we were brought on board or promoted; “Welcome to the organization. We want you to help us keep things just as they are.”? I have asked this to hundreds of people in seminars and have yet to keep a straight face.
The thing I admire about The Pope is that he was unwilling to just stay in the position and draw full Pope Pay* while not performing at a high level. How many managers, supervisors and foremen are allowed to occupy their position without performing at an acceptable level? It all boils down to accountability and replacing boss/employee thinking with the Leader/Owner Mindset.
*Pope Pay- I am not familiar with the compensation of The Pope nor am I willing to research it for this blog. I used the term as an illustration only.
Are you aware of leaders bosses that should Step Up or Step Down? Why do you believe they are not held accountable?
Greg L. Gilbert