Inaugurate, Invigorate And Celebrate Compassionate Leadership

Originally posted on Forbes.com

Compassionate leaders use their influence to make a positive impact on others and the planet. These leaders are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind.  No matter what your politics, there is no denying that Joe Biden fits this description. He wears his heart on his sleeve and will do his best to lead with love as he takes on immense challenges including the pandemic, economic turmoil, racial inequality, and climate change. One campaign promise he already has delivered on is picking a diverse team, including Kamala Harris which provides a good foundation for better decisions and our young people the representation they deserve as they dream of a better future.

This better future depends on all sectors of our economy having compassionate leaders and the good news is they are everywhere and already working on the problems that face the new administration. To shine a light on using compassion for positive change, eight noble heart-centered leaders were recognized on January 15th at the inaugural annual Compassionate Leaders Awards Ceremony using these Seven Core Attributes of Compassionate Leadership as the award criteria:

Of the 141 deserving nominations submitted, these eight honorees in six categories proudly represent all leaders devoted to changing their communities through love:

1.      Arts, Entertainment, and Sports: Eduardo Vilaro is the jubilant Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico, a 50-year old national treasure devoted to providing a place for underrepresented students and world-class dancers. Learn more about Eduardo and how you can support his mission at ballethispanico.org.

2.      Business: Dana Moyer is the deeply caring Human Resources Director at Midwest Laboratories, where she leads initiatives to support her colleagues and the communities they serve. Dana represents the many unsung behind-the-scenes heroes who are advocating for workers as companies have to pivot through safety, social and economic changes. Learn more about Dana and her company at midwestlabs.com.

3.      Business: Dr. Pamela Ryan is a brilliant dual citizen of Australia and the US, Global Business Impactor, Investor, and Author. In her new book, Impact Imperative: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investing to Transform the Future, she shares a blueprint for how the business world can contribute to reversing climate change by 2030. In my opinion, it should be required reading for all CEOs!

4.      Community: Kevin Cherep is the President and CEO, Chicago Youth Centers. His organization serves underprivileged youth and their families in five locations in Chicago, fulfilling its mission as “a place where possibility lives for more than 1,500 Chicago children and their families each year.” At the Centers, Kevin has developed a culture that leans into vulnerability, emotional intelligence, and compassionate habits. Learn more about Kevin and how to support his organizations’ critical purpose at chicagoyouthcenters.org.

5.      Community: Rodney Foxworth is the CEO at Common Future. His team works to create a more inclusive and equitable economy that works for everyone with initiatives to narrow the racial wealth gap. Here is some timely advice from this gentle warrior for economic justice: “Do your best to practice empathy and non-judgment in this process. Conversations around money, race, white supremacy and injustice can be tough. But by coming from a place of compassion, we can create dialogues where people can safely open up about these issues.” Learn more at commonfuture.co.

6.      Education: Dr. Aric Krause is the Dean for Academic and Administrative Affairs, Rensselaer’s Polytechnic. Here is an excerpt from one of his eight nominations submitted by his colleagues: “Aric’s vision is people-oriented. He has always led from his heart. Putting students’ needs and wants first. He ensures that no one is overworked, overstressed and that their work aligns with their motivations and strengths. Just ask anyone on our team, and they will tell you the same thing, Aric does not just lead us to success; he makes us feel valued and loved.” Learn more at ewp.rpi.edu.

7.      Under 25: Duke Mahr is a senior at the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Dukes’ school has a social impact approach to hospitality education that is encapsulated in its motto: Be Bold. Do Good. Change Lives. His passion is to fight for better conditions, pay, and benefits for line employees in the hospitality industry.  Learn more: daniels.du.edu/hospitality-management.

8.      Special Recognition for 2020: Frontline Healthcare Workers: Dr. Rajeev Fernando is a physician specializing in Infectious Diseases and the Founder/CEO at Chiraj. As he treated COVID-19 patients over the last year, he also found the time to self-fund, design, manufacture, and ship masks to at-risk populations in the US and 22 other countries. Learn more: chiraj.com.

Be inspired by these talented people and learn more about compassionate leadership by watching the 30-minute award ceremony here. And if you know of a compassionate leader you would like me to interview, please write me at laurel@compassionateleaderscircle.com.