The New Kindness of Leadership

“The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

The days of the tough-as-nails boss that’s, well, a jerk, are on the way out! People are starting to realise that even if jerks may get great results on paper, they’re costing their company so much more in the damage they to do the culture and employee morale. Who wants to do business with a jerk? Who wants to do their best work for a jerk? Nobody! It’s time to start realising that niceness and kindness doesn’t mean weakness and that leaders who embrace kindness will see a big improvement in all facets of the workplace.

Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, puts it simply (and best): “People hate dealing with people who are jerks.” Studies even back this up, with studies showing that when you have a level of emotional intelligence you’re more likely to be successful and wealthy. This is because, according to Soulaima Gourani (a global career development expert), you become more valuable to a company when you can demonstrate that you’re able to connect and cooperate with others. Empathy, self-control, and dealing with diversity and conflict in a positive way will have your leaders falling over themselves to keep you, because of the influence you have on employee satisfaction (and in turn, staff retention) and company culture.

“One of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice. Nice sells.” – Mark Cuban

It’s not enough to be hard-working and a good negotiator; the higher-ups in the workforce are realising that while those are good skills for a leader to have, if your leaders aren’t nice and kind then you’re not valuing your other employees’ satisfaction and wellbeing enough. This leads to large amounts of staff turnover and loses you a lot of money.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fran Hauser, author of The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, says, “There’s actually something very wrong when kindness isn’t part of the picture when it comes to our leaders. When kindness isn’t modelled and celebrated, we find ourselves in a workplace environment that is, at worst, toxic, and at its best, fails to allow us to reach our full potential and share the best of ourselves with others.”

 “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

Finding the right balance of tough and kind can be tricky, but the rewards are well worth it. You don’t have to let yourself be walked over, but being empathetic, approachable and considerate of other people’s feelings will make you a leader others will want to follow and do their best for. Treat others how you want to be treated is a saying that applies to the workplace as well, and we all need to work together to make sure that this culture of kind leadership continues to grow so that we can all benefit.

The Author – Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’.  She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Her company, LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium-sized organisations, corporates, teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs.

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

Phone 1300 719 665 www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au

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