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Feedback to Welby is ‘at every level’

03 August 2018


The Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman, interviews the Archbishop, on trust

The Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman, interviews the Archbishop, on trust

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has described the “uncomfortable” performance appraisal to which he submits: past appraisers include the CEO of a major corporation, and a retired general.

In an interview with the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Charles Bowman, he suggested that trustworthiness could be increased by “having ways in which you hear the voices you don’t want to hear”. Chief executives and archbishops tended to be surrounded by people who “tell them what they want to hear”, he said.

This feedback had to be “at every level”, he told the Lord Mayor, in a video uploaded to the City of London’s website. “I have a performance appraisal. . . Every time it’s coming up — and I’m in the preparation for it at the moment — I think to myself ‘Why did I ever allow this to happen?’ because I know it’s going to be uncomfortable. But when I look back . . . people in the Church would say there was a lot of room for improvement, but it has enabled me to improve.”

He confirmed that “everybody” was allowed to give him feedback, and that it was anonymised. “I go to someone who I know will be tough. The first one was chief executive of a major corporation overseas. The second one was a retired general — again, tough as nails. They will not give me an easy time. The current one is going to interview over 40 people.”

In an interview that explored trust — the Lord Mayor launched the Business of Trust Programme this year, in an effort to encourage the financial sector to “operate with integrity and grow its positive impact” — the Archbishop suggested that, “if you look at most of the scandals of recent years, I think it’s where people had a very narrow and over-simplified view of the purpose of their company. You focus only on the financials, and that will cost you very gravely.”

He recalled that, while working on reconciliation, he had met a senior executive of a big oil company, who had told him: “Every morning when I get up and I am shaving . . . I say to myself in the mirror, ‘You should be ashamed of what you are doing there, because you are destroying communities.’”

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