Why Compassion & Passion Are Important For All Leaders

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life (Christopher K. Germer)

Soft leadership skills are more required than ever. In a world full of ambition, achievement, harshness, competition, hard management, leaders who possess, and have the capability of leading change with the combination of both humanity, purpose, meaning, are those who actually know how to make a positive difference in people´s lives, rather than focusing upon quick returns on investment, and material gains for a selected few individuals.

All leaders want to make a positive difference in their environments, societies, and in the world. The problem is that many leaders, on their path of pursuing greatness and in making a difference, do forget and neglect the facts that actually, all leadership is about serving people, societies, and the world as a whole rather than seeking to make quick profits at the cost of the majority of humanity.

When comparing leaders with passion, and leaders with both passion & compassion, the major difference between these two leadership styles is the fact that leaders with compassion actually aim and strive towards making a real difference in all people´s lives, serving individuals and mankind regardless of their socioeconomic status. Leaders with passion (and, a lack of compassion) on the other hand, are driven and have real passion for their mission and purpose. Nevertheless, leading with passion without compassion is no guarantee for the capability of making a real difference in people´s lives. Hence, passionate leadership should always have the capacity of integrating compassion into leadership activities. With passion, but without compassion, a leader may easily get distracted and start following the wrong path of leadership. Leading with passion, and leading with compassion, do not exclude one another. A passionate leader can always develop, and increase, their amount of compassion and a compassionate leader can, and is most probably rather passionate about his/her purpose, mission, values, and vision.

Passion and compassion are both leadership qualities that cannot be bought with money. If a leader has no passion for the work he/she does, or no compassion for the people he/she leads (and serves), no amount of money can substitute the shortage of these. Before dying, american psychologist Abraham Maslow in fact did admit that he should have turned his hierarchy of needs upside down, suggesting that in fact, the core need of any human being is having a need for fulfillment in life, i.e. making it more important for the modern man to focus upon self-actualization rather than upon other needs. Whether this is true or not can be long debated, or researched within different kinds of societies.

Avalokiteshwara Performance – Buddha of Compassion





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