compassionate leadership – a new idea?

September 23, 2013

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  – 1 Peter 2:3

“. . . You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37 – 39

The Harvard Business Review blog has an entry entitled “The Rise of Compassionate Management (Finally)“.  Following are some lines from the article:

“Don’t look now, but all of a sudden the topic of compassionate management is becoming trendy. . .To manage compassionately, Weiner noted, doesn’t come naturally to most managers. It requires spending the time to walk in someone else’s shoes — to understand what kind of baggage that person is bringing to work; what kinds of stresses she’s under; what her strengths and weaknesses are. In high-pressure environments, such a time investment is anathema to most of us. But such an investment is analogous to the work of a carpenter who carefully measures a piece of wood three times before cutting once: spending such “compassion time” with an employee, Weiner insists, pays off in that person’s much greater efficiency, productivity and effectiveness (and obviates later regrets). It’s not just altruism: as it turns out, companies that practice conscious capitalism perform ten times better than companies that don’t.”

Compassionate management is now trendy? It’s not natural for most managers? How incredibly sad that it is just now a trend – how incredibly sad that it is “just” being realized that people actually work better when they are cared for – how incredibly sad that truly compassionate leadership is somewhat rare in business, ministry, and the non-profit worlds.

Obviously God’s word calls us to love others, to be compassionate, to shepherd those we lead. Yet we fail to do so – so very often.

If you are a leader, take time to read the great little book The Way of the Shepherd. I use it often in the management courses I teach at Bethel College. Consistently, I am told that little book is life changing.

Also, check out this earlier blog post on the difference it makes when you take a genuine interest in the lives of those you lead.

Are you leading with compassion? Are you genuinely interested in the lives of those you lead?

If not, try it and you will be blessed.

BG