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Jesus Inc.

Posted May. 08, 2006 07:08,   


The “Company of Jesus” was established in 1540 by 10 people with no capital or business plans. Just 10 years after it was founded, the Company of Jesus established nearly 30 colleges, and created a worldwide network in 30 years, founding almost 700 educational institutes over five continents up until the late 1800s. As of now, 21,000 Company of Jesus professionals are operating 230 colleges, 4,000 middle and high schools, and 2,000 research centers in approximately 100 countries.

The fuel behind the blooming development is attributed to the “Company of Jesus Leadership” culture. The author, who is a former member of the Company of Jesus and a professional business administrator, suggests four models of leadership that are practical, including Company of Jesus leadership. Attila Leadership that strongly bonded the Hun tribes for 440 years, Machiavellian Leadership that depended solely on the abilities of one ruler, Coach Leadership, which is applicable in a limited environment of sports, and Company of Jesus Leadership that says anyone can be a leader in a world that’s rapidly changing. The author persuades us that out of the four models, the Company of Jesus Leadership is the one that has steadily flourished over 470 years and is the most realistic and effective.

The core principles of the Company of Jesus Leadership lies in one’s own “identity” that perceives our weaknesses, value, and world views; “uniqueness” that lets one adapt and revolutionize to embrace the changing world fearlessly; “love” that lets one face another with child-like and cheerful tenderness; and the quality of “heroism” which encourages oneself and others with magnificent ambitions. The Company of Jesus applies these principles into everyday life and has operated an effective network of trade, education, and study.

These days, many companies are opting for the pyramid-shaped Hierarchical Leadership model that depends on one “great” person. On the other hand, the Company of Jesus Leadership says, “Every individual has leadership potential that has not yet been tapped, and everyone can be a leader if they are leading their own work, for better or worse.” This tries to draw out motivation from the members of an organization. In an information society, knowledge society, and rapidly changing environment, the network organization is better suited than the pyramid organization, and it is safer for leadership to be in the hands of many with diverse knowledge and background than to depend on one “great” person.

The entrepreneur and venture mentality that companies strive for these days has already been incorporated into everyday life 470 years ago by the leaders of the Company of Jesus. The era that the Company of Jesus was established in was a rapidly transforming time when navigation technology connected Europe, America, and Asia, and the invention of typography spread knowledge. The leaders of the Company of Jesus challenged this new environment and pioneered new markets: the so-called “Blue Ocean.” Curiosity for the new, excitement, and interest and passion in the unknown was what allowed them to grow into an international network that stretches between Asia and America.