Forbes: How Pope Francis Is Changing Our Definition Of Success

More good news coverage of Pope Francis: Rob Asghar at Forbes writes that Francis “may well redefine modern concepts of success, wealth and prestige for our larger society.”

Asghar identifies five areas where Francis might change society’s definition of success:

  • Francis is making it easier for ambitious people to value simplicity.
  • Francis is changing how we distinguish between “important people” and “unimportant” ones.
  • Francis is reintroducing a healthy tension between the concept of virtue and the practice of capitalism.
  • Francis is drawing a dividing line between high status and good character.
  • Francis is building a path for civil discussion of our worst hot-button issues. 

Great story, but it’s too bad the author writes that Francis  

is the first global religious leader in maybe centuries to bring up the elephant in the room, which is the tension between the Ayn Rand school of economics and the great world religions such as Christianity.

Uhm, what about Benedict XVI and John Paul II and Paul VI and John XXIII and all the other popes, right back to the beginnings of modern Catholic Social Teaching with Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum (1890)? Maybe we all should read up on Christian Economic Ethics.

But it’s good press from Forbes and we’ll take it.



  1. There is a related article that looks at Francis’ Leadership Style

    Managing Hearts: Pope Francis’ Radical Leadership Style

    1. Actions and images can count more than words.

    2. When you do use words, you can use them honestly … while still building bridges to those with whom you disagree.

    3. Good management and nice management are two different things.

    4. Power should amplify your good character, not dilute it.

    The MBA programs are going to be studying this Pope for a long time.

    John Allen has been talking about the many consultants that are coming to Rome to help in the restructuring of the Vatican. They may find that they have a lot to learn from as well as teach this Pope.

    The big question is whether the bishops, clergy and laity will learn a lot from this Pope and become more effective Catholics. Or maybe most will just enjoy the media and go on with their lives.

    It may well be that the more distant one gets from the centers of Catholicism the more likely the lessons from Francis will be learned, i.e. the business schools may adopt more of Francis leadership style than the bishops and the clergy.

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