FastCompany Magazine just published “How to Lead Like the Pope,” by Jeffrey Krames. The article highlights what Pope Francis calls “living on the frontier.” Here’s a clip:
When Pope Francis was still Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he was gravely ill with a life-threatening infection. Although he had a very good doctor, his nurse knew from experience that if she followed the doctor’s prescribed dosage of antibiotics, he would die. So she decided on her own to triple his dosage. That decision, which put her at professional risk, saved his life. Francis later explained that while the doctor lived in the laboratory; his nurse lived “on the frontier,” where he tries to live too.
By “on the frontier,” Francis means several things. First, you can’t lead from the back. You have to lead from the front and be “in dialogue with it every day.” While Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was more revered as the “Archbishop of the Slums” for how closely he worked with his most desperate parishioners, even standing up to drug dealers. Francis expects his own leaders to do the same. He’s said, “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a church concerned with being at the center and which then ends by being caught in a web of obsessions and procedures.”