The Pope as Leader

Pope-mania has hit the US, and his visit has caused nothing short of a media frenzy. By the time he leaves Philadelphia this weekend, we will have heard the good, the bad, and the ugly from the pundits.

I’m intrigued by the pope as a spiritual and global leader. Earlier this week, David Brooks commented in The New York Times that Pope Francis offers a model based on two questions: “How do you deeply listen and learn? How do you uphold certain moral standards, while still being loving and merciful to those you befriend?”

Some of the characteristics highlighted in these questions are leadership attributes that many people emulate. The ability to really listen and stay in the moment is a characteristic shared by many great leaders. And upholding certain moral standards reflects a person of character.

The Power of Consistency

Do you add so many tasks to your to do list that it becomes unruly? Many people have this challenge, especially with so much pressure to do more in less time.

Most people keep up (or try to keep up) with urgent activities, such as client related deadlines, internal deliverables, or follow up from meetings. If you have a hard deadline, you’re more likely to get it done.

Items that are important but not urgent can fall through the cracks, especially when you have a boatload of deadlines. These actions include things such as planning, keeping in touch with key people, or networking.

Back to School

Ah, it’s the time of the year when millions of students in the US return to school. On my morning walk, I’ve seen everything from fresh new uniforms to the latest colorful backpacks. The students express both excitement and trepidation as they enter the unknown of new teachers and experiences.

Teaching has changed dramatically in recent years as technology complements conventional methodology. I was intrigued by a recent article in The New York Times which described yet another new dimension, which is how the sharing economy has been applied to the world of teaching.

The web site is a virtual market place where instructors can buy and sell course materials (most for less than $5) ranging from lesson plans to course-specific activities to quizzes. The materials are created by teachers, for teachers.

The Denouement of Summer

I know that summer is not over officially until the wee hours of September 23, but Labor Day weekend has always been the unofficial end of the season for people in the US. This year we had a full 15 weeks between Memorial Day (which fell on the earliest Monday possible) and Labor Day (which falls on the latest Monday possible).

Did you miss it?