Morning Advantage: What it Really Means to Be a Compassionate Leader
August 28, 2012 Editor 0What separates great companies from the rest of herd is the compassion of its leaders, according to one new study detailed by Knowledge@Australian School of Business. Many of us will readily agree that the best managers tend to be great motivators and promoters of success. But compassion may have a bigger impact than we think. In the 77 organizations studied, researchers saw a direct relationship between compassion and productivity — and profits.
But being compassionate doesn’t mean avoiding difficult situations. As leadership expert Geoff Aigner found in his own research, the biggest road block managers must overcome is their reluctance to engage in tough conversations for fear of being unkind. This is a common mistake, confusing compassion with kindness, says Aigner. Leaders who truly care about the development and growth of their employees are able to push through the awkwardness, and tell it straight.
I’ll take your IPad, and raise you a pallet. Who knew such an unsexy wooden object had such a huge impact on the world? Not me, but after reading Tom Vanderbilt’s historical take at Slate, I know, for instance, that the pallet proved invaluable to the U.S. in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, allowing the Navy to transport and unload large amounts of supplies in short order. I also know pallets are a huge deal in the shipping world. So much so, in fact, the design gurus at IKEA tweaked the shape and size of its Bang mugs three different times in an effort to fit 1,340 more on a single pallet — thus reducing shipping costs by 60%. Fascinating stuff.
Here’s a tip from experts and CEOs on how to begin your day. Don’t check your email until mid-morning. Really: don’t do it. Instead, do your most soul-draining and anxiety-inducing task right when you get to work — in other words, as Mark Twain would say, eat the frog. Just do it.
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