This article by Dr. Heidi K. Gardner and Mark Mortensen explores how leaders can sustainably balance delivering results and supporting employees’ needs.
There is a growing demand for more compassionate leadership, and not just because the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the stresses of living and working in the modern world. People now look for jobs that will give them a sense of purpose and belonging, and expect to be treated with consideration and respect at work. They want leaders who listen and care about them, and who see them as humans and not just as workhorses.
While some executives have heard the message, they may feel a tug-of-war between the call from the ground to show compassion and the pressure from the top to deliver results. They may also have to contend with colleagues and bosses who remain cynical about the argument that compassion is a path to effectiveness and profitability.
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