On the heels of this morning's surprising announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would step down from his post, one professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business says the Catholic Church should seek to appoint a successor who can "adapt effectively to current and future crises" and "create a renewed sense of meaning and hope throughout the Catholic world."
Leaders play major roles in corporate, religious, and political organizations. They are particularly critical in setting and executing the vision and direction of an organization, but also in helping to shape and clarify to organizational insiders and outsiders the core meaning of what the organization is all about, and how it can and should handle opportunities and threats in its external environment.
As such, the sudden resignation announcement by Pope Benedict this (Monday) morning will no doubt have significant impact worldwide, and especially on the Catholic world. Succeeding the Pope will likely be particularly challenging to the Catholic Church, in light of the major crises experienced by the Church in the past decade, and given other major social and political changes worldwide.
The ideal successor will be one that would enable the Catholic Church to adapt effectively to current and future crises as well as capitalize on possible opportunities inherent in social and political changes. Such successor should at the same time create a renewed sense of meaning and hope throughout the Catholic world and other social, religious and political constituents who look up to the Catholic Church for moral, social, and spiritual guidance.