Kindness and Leadership
Since I’m the guy at the helm, it was suggested that I offer some thoughts about leadership and managing people for a “what inspires you” blog theme post.
I don’t know whose bright idea that was but heads will roll.
Okay, I’m kidding.
It was an interesting task because I haven’t really thought too much about it. What inspires me to lead the way I do? I’ve been to seminars, read some books and watched a few Ted Talks about leadership and motivating people. I understand the principles around setting goals, reviewing strengths and “areas of opportunity”, communicating frequently and honestly, keeping the right distance, and leading by example. For the most part, I try to practice these principles of leadership.
But what truly inspires me is kindness. Websites like Upworthy are more likely to fuel my management style. I’ve copied the example of brilliant managers who improve someone’s performance by making them feel more valuable, smart and creative than they thought they were – rather than the other way around. I’ve been moved by bosses who give people the time they need to grieve, heal or just take their dream vacation – rather than follow a policy booklet or government allotment.
Kindness builds trust, loyalty, passion, appreciation, reputation.
Kindness builds great people.
(A final note: Kind bosses don’t equal pushovers. When the hard decisions need to come down, kind leaders still have to make them. I’ve had to, many times. But I’ve been kind, respectful and honest. In almost every case, the decision has been respected.)