Wow, life has certainly changed for most of us like a flash of lightening.
With so much uncertainty and not knowing what tomorrow will bring I want to remind everyone that it's at times like this that we need to be empathetic and kind. We don’t know what some is going through, the person at the shops just trying to do their job, the nurses and doctors who are saving lives, the couple who are having issues and now both working from home or the small business owner who has worked for years to build a business and now has to shut the doors and laid off staff because they are not allowed to trade anymore, the teachers who have just been thrown in the frontline and those millions of people who have lost jobs.
We are all going through this together, this is something that is going to affect everyone of us in some way or another. This is not something that is happening in a far off country where we just watch it on the news, we are living and breathing it, with something new happening everyday.
One of my dear friends sent me this quote, which I think is totally beautiful;
The pessimist hates the wind
The optimist thinks it changes direction
The leader adjusts the sails.
I think along with adjusting the sails, a great leader also must show empathy and kindness. The old school mentality of being a leader means strength and being hard, can be thrown out the door. I have always believed and always will believe you achieve more from being kind, vulnerable and grateful that you will by ruling with an iron fist.
I was recently speaking with a client who was upset as they are part of a franchise and the CEO instead of showing empathy and kindness in this time was just soldiering ahead sending emails telling them they are focussing on how they can get more business coming in through the doors. My client was shocked that there was no regard for what they as business owners may be feeling and how hard it is for them. People are suffering, losing jobs, not knowing how they will pay their rent, mortgage or staff. Leaders need to lead with empathy and kindness. Not act stone-cold and think life is just going to be as it as last week and how much profit can they make.
We are all changing our business models and trying to be as agile and helpful as possible. I have a friend who has a dance school and all the kids were upset that they couldn’t go to dance school and she had to rethink and re-engineer her business within a couple of days and I am so proud that she now has an online dance school and the kids and parents are so happy that they can continue with their lessons. As a leader she led with kindness and empathy and thought these kids need an outlet and how do I make this happen.
In this current market its not about the sales, or the money. I have seen so many of my business colleagues giving free sessions just to help people get through the tough time. We are all wired differently and sometimes just spending 15 minutes on the phone talking to someone, helps you see things differently to what you were seeing and helping them out of their pain coming up with a new solution for them. It’s about being there for people who need you and when the sun does shine and this is all over, you will know in your heart, that you led with kindness and empathy.
I truly do believe in doing good and when you do good, it comes back around in multiple ways and gives you more success than you ever thought was possible. So, I ask all of you to dig deep and find the empathy and kindness within you and spread the love.