A Leader’s Courage for Compassion (Which I am Not So Great at Myself).

As leaders, why are we so deeply #compassionate toward some, but not at all toward others? Let’s at least have the #courage to ask ourselves why.

We are deeply compassionate toward some, but not at all toward  others.  You may think of this as a values driven choice, the choice to demonstrate compassion toward those whom we feel deserve it, or call it out in us.  Yet, as leaders, are we not called to be without that judgment?  We are leading all people, not just some, not just the ones we want to lead, or are comfortable leading.

We are, none of us, perfect leaders.  We work hard at it, we have moments of genuine brilliance and strength, we have moments we wish we could ‘do over.’ The best we can ask of ourselves, especially in challenging, turbulent times, is to stay with the harder questions- and to not rush through our thinking on them, or rationalize, and let the internal spin take hold and distract us from a potential moment of dramatic self- improvement.

Together, let’s have the courage to explore this question.  For me, it is easy to develop compassion for those whose story I know or understand, or identify with.  When I am without compassion, it is often because I am unwilling to see another person’s story in mine, her flaws in me- or lack the courage to face the distance between us, or the hardship or challenges he faces.   Then, I recall something I learned from Arbinger, and it opens to me the true challenge requiring my courage: Do I believe all people count the same, or not?  And if I believe we do all count the same, then it is my job, as a leader (and human) to find the courage to act like it!

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