In the few months since Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope, a crowdy stack of books about him already has become available.
You can look over one list of them here on Amazon.com.
Which raises the question of why I might highlight just one of them here. Well, several reasons, including the fact that I simply don't have time to read them all. Beyond that, by highlighting one of the Pope Francis books I can alert you to the fact that there are many more. And you can choose among them or simply ignore them all and continue trying to log into Healthcare.gov.
The book to which I point you today is a bit different from some of the others. It's Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, by Chris Lowney. Although Lowney once was a Jesuit (the pope's order) seminarian, he spent much of his career as a managing director of J.P. Morgan and today chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives.
And Lowney is interested in leadership styles and how the pope's Jesuit background gives him a particular approach to leadership -- a servanthood approach, in a nutshell.
Lowney is not hesitant to suggest that a Jesuit approach to leadership may be precisely what the Catholic Church -- and the world -- need now: "Let's face it: we badly need to be jarred from some of our settled preconceptions about leadership because they have utterly failed us. And we need to be shocked into new ways of thinking and acting."
This is an admiring look not just at this pontiff but at the tradition that taught him how to lead. If you really want to understand how Pope Francis thinks and operates, this is a good place to start.
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AN E-MAILING POPE
Another way this pope leads is by engaging people of different religious traditions. Here's an intriguing story about Francis e-mailing a Jewish leader. The more I know about Francis the more I'm impressed with his spirit.