Leadership: The power of compassion & respect

Leadership is the ultimate expression of power; power being defined as “your ability to act or perform effectively.” The only way to effectively leverage and expand power is through sharing. Sharing is the ultimate expression of compassion and compassion is one of the most important qualities of an effective leader.

Simple, not easy!

In Think Like a Black Belt I talk about 3 major values necessary to develop Black Belt Mindset, they are perfection, confidence and leadership. Each value contains 3 characteristics of Black Belt Mindset; under leadership these characteristics are:

  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Wisdom

These characteristics are not the inspired philosophical constructs of my amazing intellect; they evolved from the minds and hearts of the 7 to 14 year students in the Leadership Team program at my martial arts center. I asked the kids what qualities a good leader should have and this is what they came up with. Have you heard any better?

The key to compassion is unconditional respect. In order to feel any sense of caring for another you’ve got to start with some sense of value for others.

Nearly every time I speak I ask for a definition of the word “respect.” Nearly every time I ask that question whether it’s for a group of middle school students or a conference for executives I hear some very consistent responses.

One is that respect is treating others as you’d have them treat you. Not bad really, but not always possible or applicable. Another is that respect is kindness toward others; again not bad but sometimes you have to be “cruel to be kind” and sometimes respect has nothing to do with kindness, at least in the short term.

“I was asked to give a talk on respect and responsibility at a local elementary school. I started my presentation the same way I do today; I asked the audience to give me a definition of the word respect. I was ready to take my time as 6 and 7 year old kids usually try to define the term using the term; they don’t usually have the vocabulary to succinctly express such an intangible concept.

“Boy was I wrong! A young man from the first grade stood up, bowed and said,

‘Sensei, respect means taking care of one another!’

“You may as well have kicked me in the stomach! I was speechless. I have to admit it took me a few seconds to compose myself. I sat down to catch my breath. Once I stood up and returned his bow, I told this young man that this was the best definition of the word respect I had ever heard.” From Think Like a Black Belt

Compassion in leadership means caring for others and having the strength to know when that caring is best expressed by teaching and encouraging followers to care for themselves. A caring and compassionate organization is one in which each individual is taking care of one’s self thereby becoming better able to care for others.

“…I’ve had thousands of experts on my show, Jim Bouchard stands out among the best. For top shelf advice, Think like a Black Belt offers easy-to-understand tips and it’s packed with invaluable ideas. Read this book, it will improve your bottom line personally and professionally.”

Kurt Schemers
Creator and host of Traders Nation(tm)
KurtSchemers.com

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