Kindness, empathy and compassion are the bedrock of good leadership. It’s made us positively grin to see this being recognised in the annual Kindness & Leadership Leading Lights Awards. We’d like to offer massive congratulations to the 10 Rising Stars and 40 senior leaders from all across the UK economy whose work has been recognised in this way.
We also love the way in which gathering together the words and wisdom of 50 people who are actively involved in using the power of kindness to create effective, impactful and transformative organisations is itself such a valuable resource in helping to understand kindness and its importance in leadership.
The 50 Leading Lights were all asked the question:
How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Here’s a few insights from what they said.
Kindness gives a sense of purpose and mission
“Giving back to communities in the UK and globally has always been at the core of my own personal mission, when establishing new business ventures. As an entrepreneur and business leader over the past 30 years I have also ensured this ethos has been central to my companies’ mission and values, which in turn brings about important non-financial benefits for the business, our people and society as a whole.”
Dr Nik Kotecha OBE – Chair of Trustees, Randal Charitable Foundation
Kindness leads to better outcomes
“Leading with kindness is simply leading with consideration – putting yourself in the shoes of others and asking yourself what they need if they are to get things done. And this includes how they will feel about it – especially if it will be difficult or challenging. Taking the time for that – including finding out by asking and listening – can lead to some remarkable conversations about what the challenges might be and how to address them. You end up with a better plan, with better buy-in, better commitment, better energy, and better results.”
Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards – Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force
Kindness is about taking responsibility for the people you serve
“Leadership is the acceptance of responsibility, not the assumption of power. The responsibility you hold is primarily to those you serve, not the performance targets you are trying to drive… Kindness isn’t about people pleasing, it isn’t about being ‘nice’ or about being weak. It’s about having compassion, considering others, doing what you can to make a difference to others and making time for people.”
Rhona Hunt – Superintendent, Metropolitan Police Service
Kindness helps individuals thrive
“Kindness in leaders requires the privilege of using your expertise, experiences and role to advocate for others, identifying ambitions in and opportunities for them… and inspiring and supporting them to thrive. When individuals thrive, we all thrive.”
Dr Heather May Morgan, Lecturer in Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen
Kindness brings out the best in people
“The best leaders are the ones who are present and really engaged, spending time to listen to their teams, peers, clients and communities. You simply know when you have been with someone who has kindness running through their DNA and it makes you want to spend more time with them, work with them, deliver for them. I think you bring the best out of people when you can show them kindness and happy, more engaged people give better results.”
Sadie Baron – Chief Marketing Officer, Reed Smith
Kindness makes people more productive
“Kindness makes people feel valued. When they feel valued they are able to bring their best selves to work and all that they do… With true authentic kindness productivity and performance rises.”
Sheena Hales – Skillbank Lead, NatWest Group
Kindness builds trust and aids retention
“For me, effective leadership and kindness go hand in hand. Truly effective leaders care about the people they work with, care and try to understand what is important to them, and understand the intrinsic link between happiness at work and productivity. Kindness helps to cultivate effective teams which tend to have more energy, feel more enthusiastic about new skills and ideas, and express more satisfaction with their jobs; all of these are the perfect antidote to the current trend we are seeing of ‘quiet quitting’.”
Peter Brown MBE – Joint Global People & Organisation Leader, PwC
Those are just a few of the nuggets of inspiration that caught our eyes. Who has inspired you in your quest be a ‘kind leader’?
Want to take this further?
Do you want to gain insight into personal transformation? Do you want to learn how your own Mental Fitness can be the framework for understanding how you can develop greater self-awareness and grow in your own capability and resilience?
Or, if you play a role in your organisation’s development and that of those who work with you and their Mental Fitness, we’d love to talk.