Leading is one of the most challenging undertakings any of us can experience. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding and impactful endeavors. Next month, I will celebrate my 31st year in a formal leadership capacity as a professional. Ironically, I am still learning how to lead, and I see more reasons for my style to be flexible as I continue to learn and grow.
One key quality I now realize is more important than ever before, is leading with empathy. The variability in which we must operate or get to operate within today is tremendous. The pace of change is much greater than it has been in recent history. This evolving environment causes us, leaders, to practice and process change-management, even in our typical, daily activities. Because of all the change, we must show a greater level of empathy with the people we lead. Everyone does not process and respond to change at the same pace. We are better served to lead in a way that acknowledges this fact.
Empathetic leadership… easier said than done, right? I agree. This is not natural for most of us. However, it is important. We have to be intentional about getting to know the people we lead and to understand how they are dealing with the changes life is bringing them. As empathetic leaders, if we understand the needs of others, and are aware of their feelings and thoughts, we stand to be more effective.
As a fellow leader, I challenge and encourage you to invest time understanding your people and their needs. Get to know how they feel about things related to work and beyond. I am now making this investment. Join me on this journey. You and your people will be better for it. As always, Lead with Integrity.