The Jesuits and leadership…..
I’m half way through a very unusual book on leadership. Unusual because it proposes a very counter-cultural model of leadership based on the life of Ignatius Loyola and the 450 year old organisation he founded – the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits.
Chris Lowney (author of ‘Heroic Leadership’) writes: “Founded in 1540 by ten men with no capital and no business plan, the Jesuits built, within little more than a generation, the world’s most influential company of its kind. As confidants to European monarchs, China’s Ming emperor, the Japanese shogun, and the Mughal emperor in India, they boasted a Rolodex unmatched by that of any commercial, religious, or government entity.”
Jesuits dismissed flashy leadership to focus instead on engendering four unique values, according to Lowney: self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism. In other words, Jesuits equipped their recruits to succeed by molding them into leaders who:
- understood their strengths, weaknesses…
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