Deputy Mayor, Kathmandu Metropolitan City
It is hard to lead without having compassion. To lead means being compassionate, communicative and connective with people rather than just placing orders. A leader should be able to collaborate, raise the level of trust, empathy and loyalty which comes only with compassion. Compassionate leaders always put the purpose and common welfare before their own benefit. Selflessness is the result of compassion that a leader should have so that s/he can drive towards their vision.
Leaders with compassion leave rigidity and prioritise flexibility so that they set an example for others. They deal with their emotions efficiently and optimistically due to which compassionate leaders are stronger and more competent. I feel that compassion is the cornerstone of leadership so rather than seeing it as strength or weakness, I see it as a quality of leadership itself.
Dawa F Sherpa
President, Pasang Lhamu Foundation
Former Ambassador to Spain
There are different types of leadership but I feel like it mainly comes down to what kind of leader you want to be. I can see why having compassion can be seen as a sign of weakness for some. I think it comes from insecurity where a leader might think your team will walk all over you and take advantage of you. I see it as strength. A secure, empathetic and compassionate leader means s/he is interested in the wellbeing of people working for the company. Once you are kind and genuine then you earn their trust and that enhances loyalty. Compassion in leadership also creates stronger connection, improves relationships at work place which will only benefit the company.
I feel that now more than ever, it’s imperative for leaders to demonstrate compassion.
Co-founder, Youth Thinkers’ Society & Che&Co
In my observation, individuals who are compassionate towards their team members are usually successful leaders and are valued and loved by their colleagues. I am a big admirer of system driven workplace practices where all the involved individuals are clear about their roles, responsibilities, authority and accountability. Compassion in such a system driven environment is always a positive factor. I firmly believe that compassion should always be reciprocal and has to be accompanied by the spirit of mutual respect and ownership of your duties.
Some people perceive compassion in leadership as a weakness, and I do not necessarily disagree with them completely. If a leader is only guided by their sense of compassion towards their team, they can easily overburden themselves with the workload of others and reduce the efficiency of their team. A leader should always be conscious to ensure that their compassionate leadership style is not creating dependency; rather it’s helping their colleagues by creating a positive working environment. As humans, we are capable of caring for others and expecting care in return. Compassion is love.
I believe that compassion in leadership is seen as strength rather than weakness. Most of my decisions and steps have been taken forward compassionately which has brought positive results and sometimes negative but never made me regret. Being in a leadership position and not being able to empathise in today’s business world will actually drown the business. If we cannot connect with our stakeholders, it will not only create financial problems in the organisation but also affect the whole workplace environment negatively.
Director, Student Hub, Mercy Education
Youth Chair Rotary Club of Kasthamandap
Compassion has the power to transform your life and transform others lives as well. It is a powerful quality that you can showcase in your leadership role. As a leader, it’s important to show compassion not only for your team but also for their personal lives outside of work. As a leader, showing compassion gives your team an opportunity to feel accepted, valued and trusted as part of the team. It also amplifies trust and eliminates fear of failure from the team members that you have chosen to lead. Leaders who are open to making mistakes and showing compassion for the people on their team will encourage tolerance and inclusion. This is crucial in creating a culture of acceptance and compassion. Therefore, showing compassion is allowing team members to be wrong with no judgment. This can be done through acceptance of both mistakes and mistakes of others. Leaders who are open to receiving compassion are also open to showing compassion to others.