The Future of Leadership: Humanity and Compassion

In: BlogDate: May 30, 2013By: Henry Stewart

The June 2013 issue of Management Today includes, in a debate about “The Changing Face of the Leader” a paragraph that I believe holds tremendous insight:

“Recently, I talked to young people from Indonesia, Brazil and China. I asked them what they expected from the leader of the future and their answers amazed me. The qualities that came up were humanity and compassion. They also wanted leaders who had the ability to put staff at the centre of what they do. They want leaders who aren’t charismatic – they want people who are humble enough to admit they don’t know all the answers.”

Leena Nair, Senior Vice President (leadership and organisational development), Unilever

For me this paragraph is a statement packed with such wisdom that I am not going to add anything more. Thoughts welcome on what leadership based around humanity and compassion will look like.

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd. Following a fairly disastrous job early on in his career, Henry was determined to discover what enabled a productive and happy workplace. In 1987 Henry set up what was originally called Happy Computers. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy. His book, the Happy Manifesto, was published by in 2013.

Outside of work he is a father of three, Chair of Governors at his local comprehensive in Hackney and a keen cyclist.

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