What is it that makes a spiritual leader like Pope Francis appeal to so many? How does a man like Donald Trump attract thousands of voters to align with his campaign? Is there a common driving force or a key component that is behind the strategies of these popular leaders which has proven effective in their ability to shape the attitudes of the masses? The evidence suggests there is and that the driving force behind them can be identified in one word: ethics. In other words, both leaders are driven by an energy to take action, based on their perceptions of what they consider ethical behavior. That is the driving force that has helped pave their paths as effective leaders.
A few weeks ago, as the world tuned in to watch the National Republican Debate, our discussions were prompted by the various communication techniques and strategies each candidate utilized to convince voters why they were the best contender to lead this great country. Last week, the United States welcomed Pope Francis on his very first visit, and many of us were so deeply moved by the warmth of his presence, his transparency and humility, we were inspired to take the time and listen to the messages he transmitted to us as a global community.
Witnessing the infectious energy and authority behind the Pope’s communication skills, we decided to focus our discussions this week on the strategies that he, and other notable world leaders implement that make them so appealing. In other words, what is it about certain world leaders, like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandella that makes us take notice of them, while so many others communicating a similar message are lost in the shuffle? How is it that a gentle spirited man like Pope Francis has been able to take the global arena by storm, to inspire both practicing and non-practicing Catholics alike, to tune in to the wisdom of his compassionate words?
On the other hand, how are leaders like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, who implement tactics from the opposite side of the spectrum, able to inspire the masses? Leaders like these use strategies that are based on what many construe as a kind of narcissistic confidence — one that relies on the use of explosive behavior, harsh language, and tough love, yet their tactics equally stir strong emotion from the crowds that follow them. How does their perception of ethical behavior motivate the masses to rally behind them? These are a few of the questions we will attempt to address this week as we take a closer look at some of the ethical components popular world leaders utilize to help them motivate behavioral change as effective global leaders.
That’s a wrap for today. On Wednesday we will continue this discussion as we examine why some leaders reach successful outcomes, while others are ineffective at producing positive results. Until then … Stay organized!
This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good. – Pope Francis
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