At dinner last week with the CEO of a regional bank, I was asked what I believed to be the most important quality of a business leader today. Without hesitation, I reasoned “empathy.”
In today’s capricious economic climate, many individuals have been living with emotions perils that in spite of best efforts to squelch, assault the workplace. Additionally, the recent convergence of convergence has made “work life” and “personal life,” simply “life.” We are acutely connected to all that we embody with limited resources for escape. As such, a leader’s job is to understand their employee’s (and if possible clients/consumers) emotional pulls and pushes and understand how to guide the progress forward.
I am not suggesting there is not a need for compartmentalization of personal issues in the workplace and that all issues should be used as a reason for lack of productivity. Nor am I suggesting that as Ari Gold on “Entourage” suggests, “let’s hug it out” will be a solvent either. I am merely suggesting leaders tend to work in a silo way too often and have forgotten that without a productive (not happy) and focused, workforce accomplishment will be minimal. Taking the time to truly connect on a visceral and authentic level can garner positive returns in efficiency.
Leaders often flatter themselves with the idea that the burdens they insist on carrying are unique and original. But, really, nothing is less original. Truth is that we are all in this together so if helping the emotional load of individuals can yield success in the masses I say sign me up. It also feels great.
Also remember, we see ourselves in our love for others ...
All my best,
The Big STIR
Miami | New York | London
c: (561) 386-8064
o: (305) 407-1723