Why is it important for leaders to be compassionate?


So it's really interesting when we started the journey and we started hearing from leaders about how important compassion was. At first we thought, 'oh no, we can't talk about that because everybody's going to see us as being soft and flakey if we start saying bring more compassion into leadership'. 

What was really inspiring to us is the leaders that spoke about how compassion is not a soft skill, it is tough. Because it is about compassion that when you have to have that really critical feedback conversation that you know is not going to make that person happy but it's going to help them realize more of their potential - you're doing it because you want to be of benefit to others. 

So compassion, just to be really clear, is not about being nice. I mean, sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do for somebody is actually let them figure it out on their own. It's actually about stepping back and letting them struggle a little bit. 

But compassion as we define it is really about being of benefit to others and taking a pause to be able to say, 'okay, in this moment how can I be the best benefit to this person?' and that really enables us to be able to put our people at the center of our strategy and to be able to support them to be able to enhance their potential. That, of course, is critical for an organization because when we're all realizing more of our potential that is how we enhance performance, we enhance creativity, we enhance collaboration and all other good things that are critical to success of any organization today. 

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