The Pope & The CEO: John Paul IIs Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard

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He knew I was the tallest guard. When I introduced him to my parents, he said that and my mother was very moved. He knew what was going on with pretty much all the guards, and there were of us. The main issues with security are not that the pope gets attacked on a regular basis. The pope has a ministry. Being the pope means going out there and blessing babies and being with people. This is a man who was larger than life and one of the most pivotal figures of the 20th century.

He had more faith in my ability than I had in my ability. It was the same with his close collaborators. He had more faith in them than they had in themselves. In a way, it is the best approach to management you could ever have. It makes you feel so important, so special.


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  • The Pope & The CEO: John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard.
  • Up and Down Like a Dog at a Fair.

Yet in a way it's also a loaded sentence, because you know you have to live up to that, too. He hired to his weakness. He would actually let people go and do it, and not be micromanaging, He would meet with collaborators once a week, like the Cardinal Secretary of State, who was a key partner in working with Poland and the Soviet Union and the United States.

He was a superb diplomat, and John Paul chose him and then let him do his thing. He would meet with them once a week, and once he was in sync with them, he would let them bring their personality to it rather than doing it his way. Are there aspects of his leadership that you believe have been misunderstood? He wrote a lot about what it means to be a person. He felt that what we do physically is also a spiritual reality. He spoke through his actions.


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He was the first pope to go into a mosque. He was the first pope to go into a synagogue. He said to everybody that any Christian has ever hurt, "I formally ask for your forgiveness. On the one hand, people criticize him for doing some of these things and asked how can you take responsibility for years worth of history.

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Other people criticize him and say that's a PR stunt. This is a significant stain in the history of the church. It is a cause for great concern and sadness. It stands as one of the great offenses that some of the people in the church have committed that we need to repent for and fix. But this is not my area of expertise. Who knew how much? I was 20 years old when I lived there. But I have seen an authentic, holy man. What other leadership lessons from the pope carried over for you once you began working in the corporate world? If you read his first encyclical that he wrote in , he basically defined his papacy in there.

You can read it after 30 years, and he did exactly what he wrote in there. It was his blueprint. He was so clear on what he was going to do that once he had that committed, then he could focus on the moment in front of him. He got elected in , and he started to talk about the year Did you learn anything about leadership from watching him interact with other world leaders? I was in the antechamber when General Jaruzelski, the military leader of Poland who put in martial law there, was waiting to see the pope.

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Swiss Guard

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. It is incredible how one person's life can touch so many throughout the world. This is an enjoyable book that needs to be read over and over again. The stories and lessons in the book are timeless and should be read by anyone who is interested in leaving their mark in the world. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. March 3, - Published on Amazon.

According to Andreas Widmer, business leader and author, "No cardinal wants to be pope. They know too well what goes into it, what the office demands. The work is endless, the responsibilities bone-crushing. There is no end to it, save death. Yet later, Widmer failed in business and had to re-learn the simple, but God-honoring papal principles of leadership. It's a page-turner because the stories are so powerful and practical. Until today, this review was pre-written in my mind with killer quotes, arresting lead sentences, and humorous eye-opening stories. My wife, Joanne, genuinely appreciated my "let-me-read-you-another-story" marathon over several evenings.

I'm skipping all of that to urge you simple to buy the book and read the memorable account from his last chapter, "Live Detachment: Intentional Humility and Poverty. One of my favorites is this one from Scott Hahn [from his address to the Boston Catholic Men's conference, March 4, ]. I repeat it here, because I can think of no greater testimony to the detachment we're all called to possess. It's worth the price of the book--and you'll share the story dozens of times in the years ahead.

Okay, one more story! In the chapter on living a balanced life, the author noted the pope's zest for the outdoors and sports. When some questioned the cost of installing a swimming pool at the papal summer residence, the pope famously replied, "It's cheaper than another conclave. December 3, - Published on Amazon. I give this book to every leader or CEO who is from the Catholic faith and everyone has given it rave reviews. Some books seem to be touched by the Holy Spirit and this is one of them. I can't explain why but once you read it you will see how it strangely touches your heart and instantly effects your life in positive ways.

It's a must buy for every Catholic who plans to lead. September 4, - Published on Amazon. After having met the author Andreas Widmer on a recent trip to the Catholic University of America in DC with my family, I started reading his highly recommended book "The Pope and the CEO" as I have been struggling for years with the dilemma of aligning my quest, my mission and my purpose with my vocation. It always seemed that they were mutually exclusive until I read this book.

In his straight talking manner, the author, successful business entrepreneur and former Swiss guard, Andreas Widmer, takes you through the valuable lessons that he learned alongside his duty of protecting the late Blessed Pope John Paul II. Its in the same league and caliber as Og Mandino's work. PS - buy more than one copy as you will want to give this to your business partners, employers and employees and will certainly not want to give them your copy.

August 10, - Published on Amazon. Wouldn't imagine this book would provide so practical elements for my life.

What John Paul II’s bodyguard learned from him about leadership

Besides the good stories and the great lessons, it's full of a true catholic spirit that is so valuable now a days. Hope everyone who reads this feels compelled enough to read it. No waste at all, on the contrary, good investment and a great gift for business owners, managers and pretty much every employee