Is there a place for Compassion in Leadership ?
Sure there is! In fact, a mark of a great leader is one who has expressed sympathy, compassion and understanding for those they are leading.
In Napoleon Hill’s book, Think And Grow Rich, “Sympathy and Understanding” is one of the essential Leadership Principles he discusses.
Often times, the people who annoy us and make us angry are the first ones we are ready to cast aside and eliminate from our space. While I certainly don’t advocate keeping toxic people around you, there are times when good people are experiencing life difficulties and could benefit from your compassion and understanding instead of judgement.
As leaders in business and community organizations, you should understand that those on your team will experience any number of life’s challenges every now and then which may affect their disposition, enthusiasm and attention at work. While accepting sub-par performance is not what I mean here, it is important to have compassion for those who are going through significant personal life events such as going through a divorce, dealing with the loss of a parent, or having a sick child they must tend to. Remember that you will, inevitably, experience struggles of your own and may benefit from this same type of compassion of others. As my mother always says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated!”
Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.