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Employer Brand Management: Practical Lessons from the World's Leading Employers by Richard Mosley

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Chapter 18Managing the Brand Experience

Communicate your beliefs at all times, and if necessary use words.’

Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

When Pope Francis took office in 2013 he traded in his courtesy Mercedes for a Ford Focus. He was not the first Pope to underline the Catholic Church's commitment to the poor, but he has done more than most to demonstrate his beliefs through his actions. Alongside his rejection of executive class cars, he also passed over the regal papal apartments in favour of a boarding house which he shares with 50 other priests. He rejected the fur-trimmed velvet capes that popes have worn since the Renaissance and decided that plain back shoes were more to his liking than Benedict's red papal slippers. He broke with the papal Holy Week tradition of celebrating the evening Mass at a Rome basilica, choosing instead to perform the service at a small chapel in a juvenile detention centre, where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 young offenders.1 He hasn't just preached humility, he has practised it, and in leading by example he has revitalized the purpose and reputation of the world's oldest multinational. There was a reason that Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis. He believed in St. Francis of Assisi's concern for the poor, and he shared his belief in actions before words. The ‘Francis Effect’ is reshaping expectations of what it is to be a Catholic priest, and in turn it is beginning to reshape people's experience of the Catholic Church. ...

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