: affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. Merriam-Webster
It’s time to lead with love! Becoming a more compassionate leader gives you and your organization an advantage, especially as we all face these uncertain times. And love fuels compassion, so leading with love and leading with compassion are intertwined.
As we face gun violence, racial and economic inequities, climate change, the devastation created by a pandemic, and other challenges, we need to embrace the practice of leading with love.
Over the last twenty years, studying compassion and its impact on individuals and cultures has emerged from universities. Not surprisingly, compassion has been proven to fuel positive change in organizations and beyond. The scholars have caught up with the sages who have touted the benefits of love and compassion for thousands of years.
As a leader, you may wonder how to lead with love in a way that positively impacts you, your stakeholders, and your organization. The process will involve a self-examination, learning new approaches, and practicing leadership as a whole and embodied experience. Here are four suggestions to help you:
1. Start with self-compassion. Developing self-care practices and patience with yourself is the best place to begin. For example, as this work- week comes to a close focus on the progress you made, rather than your mistakes.
2. Model vulnerability. It’s impossible to build a loving and compassionate organization if people hide their emotions, mistakes, and need for support. As a leader, show people that it is ok to be a real, imperfect, and whole..
3. Practice being compassionate with others on and off the job. For a organizational change context, I define compassion as the embodied act of preventing or alleviating suffering for all stakeholders. To begin, ask yourself, how can use more compassion and I lead with love in this situation? Developing compassion can be done at home, in your community, and at work. And remember to practice self-compassion as you develop your capacity.
4. Read about leading with compassion and love. Here is a Lead with Love List I compiled from compassionate scholars, thinkers, and practitioners, linked to Amazon:
- Brené Brown. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
- Brené Brown. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
- Church, Maria. Love-Based Leadership: The Model for Leading with Strength, Grace, and Authenticity.
- Farber, Steve. Love is Just Damn Good Business: Do What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do.
- Lesser, Marc. Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen.
- Neff, Kristin. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.
- Ryan, Pamela. Impact Imperative: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investing to Transform the Future.
- Shute, Scott. The Full Body Yes: Change Your Work and Your World from the Inside Out.
- Tarraf, Laila. Strong Like Water: How I Found the Courage to Lead with Love in Business and in Life.
- Trower, Tevis. The Game Changer’s Guide to Radical Success.
- Trzeciak, Stephen and Mazzarelli, Anthony. Compassionomics (The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference)
- Worline, Monica C. and Dutton, Jane E. Awakening Compassion at Work.
If you have a book suggestion to add to this list or know a compassionate leader I should interview for these posts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.