Leadership stories come in all shapes and sizes. One example this week is from a small group of nuns who took the initiative in securing their own future by ignoring the wishes of their institutional leaders by rejecting a bid from celebrity singer Katy Perry
A legal firework [pun on Perry’s musical act] has been set off in Los Feliz, California, after a group of elderly nuns sold their former convent to a local businesswoman against the wishes of the Los Angeles archdiocese – all to prevent the property being bought by the pop megastar, Katy Perry.
The hilltop property in question has been empty since 2011, when the five surviving Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary were relocated to nearby retirement homes.
The following year, Ms Perry expressed an interest in making the building her home and, according to the Los Angeles Times, recently agreed a $14.5m (£9.2m) sale with the archdiocese. The sisters, however, argue that the property is theirs to sell – and they don’t want it to be bought by the singer.
And so, two weeks ago – and without the approval of the archdiocese – the nuns sold the property to restaurateur and bar owner Dana Hollister.
The sisters of The Immaculate Heart first bought the estate in 1972 from a Catholic philanthropist who offered them a hefty discount. The archdiocese, led by LA Archbishop José Gomez, agrees that the proceeds should go towards the care of the five surviving nuns, all aged between 77 and 88.
Leadership: The Movie
The story has all the attractions of a Hollywood movie in which a group of feisty retired nuns take on the powers of the established church in rejecting the advances of a wealthy buyer.
But will Katie Perry turn out to be the heroine in the last scene, rescuing the nuns from designs of the dastardly Dana?