The new pope had barely been in his new position for 24 hours and the media started referring to him as the ‘Humble Pope’. There are 3 stories circulating on his actions that merit this. When Pope Francis was appointed, he went to his hotel in Rome, checked out himself, paid for the room with his money and personally thanked every member of the hotel staff. Imagine how special this would have made every staff member feel.
His next step would have to been to travel in a special car with security detail to the Vatican, but he declined saying he would prefer to travel with his fellow cardinals on the bus. And finally when new popes are presented to the world from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica they have the option of standing on a stool. Pope Francis politely declined, saying he wanted to be on the same level as his cardinals.
Finally the choice of a new name Francis – he is the first pope to use the name which recalls two of the church’s most famous saints. Within an hour of the pope’s presentation to the world from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, his new name choice from Jorge Mario Bergoglio to Pope Francis, was being hailed as signaling what could be perhaps a new style & priorities.
While it may not be an option for leaders to change their name the most powerful lesson they can learn from one of the most powerful people on earth is how your actions generate stories and determine what you will be known for, your brand. Imagine taking charge of your brand today and deciding what you want to be known for.