Last week I discussed that I have observed the value – and the danger – of compassion as a hallmark of those who lead. I began by defining compassion and indicated we would explore the virtues and the risks of compassion-centered management as a primary stimulus in leadership decision-making (click to read).
This week, I part two, we look at the value of compassion in leadership.
Leadership… obviously… involves making tough decisions from time to time. Therefore, the leader can be misunderstood by those they lead – and can be wrongly regarded as a person who “doesn’t care about me…”
Even though such sentiments are rarely true, the mere territory of being an effective leader will produce moments when decisions that are necessary, are unpopular. The solution is certainly not to make decisions that are in every case popular - which is people-pleasing, not leadership (click here to read about this non-leader approach).
However, exercising compassion in leadership can in fact provide a positive and appropriate equilibrium to the leader’s role as a firm decision-maker - and can help to project a countervailing balance for those times when the tougher decisions are made and implemented.
That said, a compassionate leader can remain decisive. In fact, true compassion will call for decisiveness, because a compassionate leader will care more about helping people get better, as contrasted to merely seeking to make certain people will feel better.
We will explore this essential understand more, next week.