Compassion and Leadership - Part 1

Tue, 2017-03-14 21:35 -- tomjonez


One of the things I have observed is the value – and the danger – of compassion as a hallmark of those who lead. 

This week I introduce the topic by defining compassion.  Over the next couple of weeks I will look at the virtues and the risks of compassion-centered management as a primary stimulus in leadership decision-making.

So…what is compassion?  A definition from a web-based dictionary states the following:

Compassion: [kuh m-pash-uh n] : noun

  1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.[1]

By implication, a compassionate leader is a person who cares about the challenges faced by another or others and seeks to apply their leadership ability in a manner that brings some degree of relief to the situation.

As a starting point, let’s ask ourselves a couple questions: Am I a compassionate leader?  Do I want to be more – or less – compassionate? Why or why not?

In the weeks ahead I will examine some of the positive aspects of this attribute, as well as some pitfalls.

[1] “compassion,”, accessed online March 13, 2017 at: