Young People Need Models, Not Critics

A Model Leader 

In 2015 Pope Francis visited Philadelphia and I spent those few days amazed at the extent of the coverage by the major news networks.

Our main stream media was showing 24 hour coverage of the visit and this was during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign where he was the headline everyday.

I was amazed not just at the level of respect Catholic’s held for him, but all people and religions.

During some of the coverage I was watching on CNN, Anderson Cooper became highly emotional when describing the experience of seeing the Pope.

In explaining why he believed this Pope was so well loved by so many people he said to Wolf Blitzer,

“Pope Francis doesn’t call people out, he calls them up.”

I heard this explanation at a time that I was deeply questioning my own leadership style and the words really stuck in my mind.

Over the years I have thought about this idea a great deal and use the distinction between the two to evaluate my own behaviors.

Calling Up versus Calling Out

Young people need models, not critics. -John Wooden 

Call out is defined as “an instance of being summoned, especially in order to deal with an emergency or to do repairs.”

Another definition provided is “to challenge to a duel”!!!

Literally asking for a fight!

Critics call people out.

People who believe themselves superior or without fault call people out.

It is negative.

It is judgmental.

It is an attempt to fix others.

Call up is defined as “to summon together, as for a united effort.”

Or “to bring forward for consideration or action.”

Leaders call people up.

Leaders know everyone is in this together.

In sports to call someone up is a promotion.

It is positive.

It is seeing the good in others.

It is inviting people on the journey to become a better person day by day.

It’s How, Not What

“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts. Life isn’t worth living, unless lived for other people.” -Saint Mother Teresa 

It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

Gandhi, M.L.K., Pope Francis, and Mother Teresa called others up by how they lived their lives.

And occasionally when they did speak, they would speak from a place of love not fear.

My friend Jamie believes calling up is rooted in advocacy and more transformational than accountability.

I agree.

Accountability is sitting and waiting for someone to mess up.

Advocacy is walking alongside them through the struggles, while believing in them.

Call to Action 

So as you move forward in leadership.

Whether it be in parenting, coaching, administration, or just being a part of a team.

Reflect on how you speak to others

Reflect on how you see others

Reflect on how you how you live.

Are you calling up or are you calling out?

-J.P. Nerbun