Empathy is the key to great leadership. Nobody likes dictators or autocrats at the workplace or elsewhere. Can you imagine working for one who only expects you to say “yes”? Can you imagine working for one who won’t listen to you? Here is a personal account of a good empathetic manager I have worked with in several jobs. It is in Chinese (traditional scipt).
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One of the hallmarks of leadership is to have immersive experiences that you can relate to personally, and then nuancing them to help develop your own people working with you. However, short of being hands-on on every single task, what are some of the options for gaining such experiences, especially for an emerging leader, a leader in training, or even a leader already entrenched in the field but placed in even more challenging environments?
It is often both sad and laughable when I read in the media about restructuring of ailing companies, that the one and only strategy these “leaders” execute, is to fire people and cut costs.
Greg McKeown in his book “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less“, described that there are 2 kinds of people, essentialists, and nonessentialists. Terminologies aside, the notion that some people are distill their thoughts and actions down with focus and discipline, while most others drown in their own chaotic and undisciplined thoughts and actions, is the age-old and persistent reality we face. This is especially true today where many people delusionally believe they can “multitask” in the age of smart devices.
When it comes to a crisis that demands an apology, the hackneyed responses that I have read, heard or seen in many such occasions, are often criticized and ridiculed. It is not difficult to see why.