As much as things change in the world, and often posthaste, wisdom and adages that are real stand the test of time. I was recently turned on to Heroic Leadership which is about a number of leadership traits first taught by Loyola the founder of the Jesuit order. I’ll admit that before starting the book, I had heard of Jesuits but knew little about them. There are a number of gems in the book but what strikes me first about it is that these teachings are over 500 years old now and still seem utterly relevant today and many of them relate even to Product Management.
Here’s a few of the concepts/quotes:
- Life is full of non-negotiable principles that don’t change despite all of the change in the world (this is Marty Cagan concept for Product Management to this day).
- Jesuit’s practice an exercise of intense focus where they spend a month solely only working on one thing. The objective parallels the Design Sprint objectives.
- Self-awareness is a key to successfully living with one foot raised, ready to take action at an opportunity.
- “Leaders make themselves and others comfortable in a changing world. They eagerly explore new ideas, approaches, and cultures rather than shrink defensively from what lurks around life’s next corner. They cultivate indifference that allows them to adapt confidently.” The emphasis there is mine but that’s my favorite line from the book. That is a serious “eyes on the prize” mindset. Married to the solution, but wide-eyed and open to the solution.
- “Everyone knows that organizations, armies, sports teams and companies perform best when team members respect, value and trust one another and sacrifice narrow self-interest to support team goals and their colleagues’ success.”
- “Individuals perform best when they are respected, valued, and trusted by someone who genuinely cares for their well-being”.
Loyola was different in his time and often the greatest leaders are. He insisted managers govern using love, modesty and charity so that teams could thrive. He had a great motto: “greater love than fear”.
Hopefully you found the concepts useful or validating of more modern versions.