Good people consistently get superior results when they lead with kindness, according to professors William Baker and Michael O’Malley. While people generally recognize that a leader’s emotional intelligence factors into that person’s leadership style, most are reluctant to judge it as being as important as analytical ability, decision making skills, or proficiency in execution. Emotions such as compassion, empathy, and kindness are often dismissed as unquantifiable in their impact on organizations or are mistaken for weakness.
But great leaders have always relied on emotion to get things done. Leading with kindness can inspire people to collaborate. For example, by being kind, coaches in any sport can rally players to win games, and politicians can persuade voters to elect them. But kindness, the leadership emotion that Baker and O’Malley focus on, is not what people immediately associate with business, let alone with their success as a leader. The late University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt was often said to demonstrate her kindness and compassion for each player and their family aside from her demands of them on the court.
Leading with kindness provides an avenue for others to lead with the same spirit. According to Baker and O’Malley, leading with kindness identifies six ingredients of kindness: compassion, integrity, gratitude, authenticity, humility, and humor.
The perception of kind leaders is that they are either too timid to be truly effective, or that they rely on their inherent niceness in place of knowledge, courage, toughness, and the ability to persuade. Consequently, the development of kindness as a leadership trait is sorely overlooked. But being kind is one of the most crucial attributes of some of the world’s most successful business leaders. Far from a euphemism for soft or wishy-washy, true kindness demonstrates a powerful confidence in oneself and those one leads.
There will be times in everyone’s life when they will be faced with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. However, you can only stand strong before people if you discipline yourself to spend time acknowledging that with God as your leader you can stand strong before people. So, make one of your top priorities in life this year to lead with kindness. We only must look at God’s example of kindness to understand its true value in life. So, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!