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In Three Popes: Lessons in Leadership participants use selected leadership theories as a basis to comment on the leadership style and effectiveness of two former Bishops of Rome—John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The purpose is to hypothetically assist the incumbent pontiff, Francis, whose legacy—while looking promising—still is in its infancy. In the exercise, participants investigate the personal traits and life stories of three recent popes in an attempt to understand their professional style and effectiveness as leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. Using Pope Francis’ immediate predecessors as examples of good/bad leadership, teams recommend to Pope Francis ways to maintain and increase his own legacy and the vitality of the Church. In so doing, the exercise should suggest ways participants might enhance their own leadership skills and effectiveness within the professional organization to which they belong.


Submitted as a Catholic Intellectual Tradition Research Project September 16, 2015.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.