You will cultivate people who want to work for you not because of what you do but because of who you are. The ingredients of exceptional leadership are motivation, self-awareness and, most important, compassion and an exceptional leader is the one who practices compassion and empathy and nurtures a culture of engagement and empowerment
An excellent leader avoids the pitfalls of leadership which are triggered by negative forces which can lead to a lack of productivity, a lack of motivation and a high turnover rate. All through my career journey, I have had an opportunity to observe people and their leadership styles. While I can create a fancy laundry list of actions each leader need to be cognizant of but I am not a guru and no one is a disciple here. Let’s uncomplicate it.
The kind of leadership that strengthens and mentors others has become increasingly recognized as a foundational trait of a great leader. One thing has to be kept in mind that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.
Studies have found that organizations with more compassionate leaders are able to perform well, employee engagement is at its best and turnover rate is significantly low. Compassion is the only differentiator between a designation and a leader who gets respected and admired. While talented people grow, sometimes those who just stick also move up the pyramid. However, at the top, compassion becomes the strength and the only key to engage and drive people.
Read This Small Story About A Person Working With A Freezer Plant.
It was almost the day end. Everyone had packed up to check out. A technical snag developed in the plant and he went to check. By the time he finished, it was late. The doors were sealed and the lights were off. Trapped inside the ice plant for the night without air and light, an icy grave was almost sure for him. Hours passed by. Suddenly he found someone opening the door. Was it a miracle?
” Remember to greet when you meet someone, of course, with a warm smile. You never know – it may work a miracle in your life too.”
The security guard entered there with a torch and helped him to come out. On the way back the person asked the security guard, “How did you know that I was inside? Who informed you?” the guard said, “No one sir; this unit has about 50 people. But you are the only one who says hello to me in the morning and bye in the evening. You had reported in the morning but did not go out. That made me suspicious.”
He never knew a small gesture of greeting someone would prove to be a lifesaver for him. Remember to greet when you meet someone, of course, with a warm smile. You never know – it may work a miracle in your life too. I know, now you must be wondering if you ever stop to talk to people who open doors for us, that chaiwala who gives you a cup of tea and when you rush through a break, the guard who manages the main gate and the janitor who wipes the marble and floor after you make a mess there.
But before you even go there, have you wondered how people who work with you think of you? Does it bother you? Or you think you don’t care. The bottom line here is that compassion is the key to better leadership and contributing to the happiness and well-being of others.
Compassion merely isn’t just about being nice to others but it is an action – to develop others to their full potential. When you lead with compassion you invest time into people and set them and yourself on a path to success. Being considerate makes one more empathetic, sympathetic, cognitive and understanding towards others.
Compassionate leadership is a sure shot recipe to become a great leader who – motivates others through encouragement and empowerment; creates a positive work environment; encourages a culture of continuous learning; removes communication barriers; seeks influence, not authority; and believes in team spirit and collaborative culture. Also, skills like compassion, consideration and empathy cannot be merely treated as ‘so” skills’ rather these should be considered ‘crucial skills’ leading to powerful and tangible business results. In the end, it is up to you whether you want to nurture a culture of compassion and aim for excellence or simply cultivate mediocrity in the workplace.