Pope Francis has approval ratings any leader could envy: 88 percent of American Catholics think he's doing a good job, and nearly three quarters of Americans in general view him with favour. What is he doing right?
To answer that question, business author Jeffrey Krames examined His Holiness's approach from a leadership perspective, and the result is Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis.
Though not a Catholic, Krames was inspired to write about the Pontiff because he is the child of Holocaust survivors, he explains. 'When I saw Pope Francis, I thought he was the anti-Hitler.'
Here are some practices that make Pope Francis so effective -and that any business leader could use:
1. Reach out to non-customers
Peter Drucker famously noted that every organisation has more non-customers than customers, and that you can learn more from the people who aren't buying your product than from those who are. At 1.2 billion adherents, the Catholic Church has what you might call a huge customer base, but Francis makes sure to reach out to non-Catholics as well, for instance by declaring that God has redeemed all of us, not just Catholics.
'That simple leadership tenet may be the best way to increase market share,' Krames says.
2. Embrace risk
When Francis was young, he became very ill, and the nun who tended him disobeyed the doctor's instructions and tripled his dose of antibiotics, because she knew from experience that without that higher dose he would die. 'He uses that as an example of living on the frontier,' Krames says.
You can't be an effective leader if you're always playing it safe, he adds. 'Living on the frontier is something the Pope has to do every day.'