Fifty years after his death, we review the key management principles that made Ángel Herrera Oria (1886 – 1968) one of the most influential religious, social and political leader of the 20th century. In his duties as journalist, social pioneer and cardinal; he kept a very own line of handling, that can be summarised in the following principles.
- Leader of leaders. His motto to “create men” was meant to empower his teams by looking for peers in the work. It is a synthesis of the delegation and subsidiarity principles. A large creation is not a matter of single persons, even if very talented. Only a strong team, where every individual is and feels accountable for the whole, can grow as organisation. Upon this basis, Herrera created schools, newspapers, political parties and universities.
- Hear, think and talk. Similar to Pope Francis’ principle of “apostolate of the ear”. Before having something brilliant to say, you have to hear needs and pains of the others, think (and pray) about it and only when your active contribution is required, can start talking.
- Possible good. It is never the right time to make the perfect thing. However, it is always the right moment to do the possible good. This principle is related to the overcoming of pessimism and apathy. There is always room for improvement. This was specially important in a time of political crisis and social breakthroughs.
- Global thinking. In a time when the globalization was not a mass phenomena. The idea behind was very simple: the world is much bigger that the national context (Spain in his case) thus the different developments in other countries are a essential know-how source for a holistic education.
- Talent distribution. This principle closes the circle raising the awareness of using the right person in the right task. In economy, it is a matter of efficiency, but for an organisation is the only path to succeed.