This post was contributed by Bethany Woodard, founder, The MADDOX Group
You think compassion is a word only used in religious or charity context? Think again. Compassion is the new buzz word being used to describe CEO’s and Fortune 500 leaders.
In a world where start ups, tech progression and internet connectivity has never been greater, we sit at the edge of progressive leadership. Most newly founded companies and many of the ol’ greats all have something similar in common; they’ve decided human capital is their largest asset. Mind blown? It’s a simple thought with a big bottom line. Employees have resoundingly agreed they are more satisfied working in an environment where they are trusted, valued, respected, given freedom, offered collaborative working, flexible schedules and continuing mentorship from their manager.
So what does it mean to lead with compassion? Stanford research suggests that we should start with the ability to be mindful in our interactions with others, be present and listen in a nonjudgmental manner. It carries with it the idea that compassion empathizes with an individual during a time of need and is compelled to want to help relieve the suffering. For an organization, this would be illustrated by recognizing that each individual or employee has come to the table with everything they have to offer, they are human, capable of mistakes, but also capable of learning and growth as a way to transform their career path. What have we learned as a society if not that times of challenge and adversity are often the experiences that bring us to greater success in the end. It is in times of challenge, when we are connected to those around us and have a community of support that we are able to overcome and deliver our best results. For someone in a managerial or leadership role, this would prove to be a compelling relationship. It would promote the idea that an employee has a higher rate of success when they are in the presence of and working for a manager or business that is invested in their success and helps them overcome their failures. This is specifically true when working on new concepts or more innovative work as failure and trial/error is more likely.
PHX Startup Week is echoing the same message as they exude entrepreneurship, start up and venture project support and provide opportunities for local business owners and forward thinking thought leaders to engage in these conversations. What are you doing as a leader, manager or CEO to increase compassion into your leadership approach? Your everyday corporate mission? We want to know!