Adopt compassion and humility as your core leadership values

ByFawad Khan

Adopt compassion and humility as your core leadership values

Although there are various qualities a leader should have, the two that I hold very near and dear to my heart are Compassion and Humility. Every time I think of compassion I am reminded of Teddy Roosevelt’s (26th president of the United States of America) quotation about Care: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. These words have become the guiding light for me by which I conduct myself day in and day out. Compassion and humility are those key pillars of your leadership which will help you build really close and long lasting personal relationships in your professional environment. Compassion is when you show genuine care for others. When you conduct yourself with compassion, you will have people naturally attracted to you and want to work with or for you. Humility on the other hand will help you with people sharing ideas and suggestions openly to improve a product, service, business process or whatever you are working on. This is so because humble people are open to listening and willing to learn from others.

Compassion

Compassion is all about authentic care for people around you. In order for you to show genuine care you need to become a good observer and a great listener. These two personal qualities will help you understand people, their values, background, experiences, families and emotional state. Only once you understand all these things about someone can you empathize and care for them at a personal level. Great leaders are excellent observers and listeners and go out of their way to help people both personally and professionally. When you genuinely care about people, you will start building those long-lasting relationships and these people will follow you where ever you end up professionally, may it be a different organization in your current company or an another company. Compassion also is at the core of emotional intelligence and is what helps you build a high level of EQ to develop a well-balanced leadership where you are leading with both your heart and mind.

Leading with Compassion

Leading with Compassion

Humility

If you believe you have a really high IQ and consider yourself intelligent, you should NOT be tempted to go about telling this to others around you. You don’t want to brag about how you have a doctorate from Harvard, Stanford or MIT. Nowadays, people can find out about your exceptional intellect or stellar professional accomplishments from LinkedIn and from other social media channels. What matters here the most are your actions. Your intellect will show through the professional decisions and actions you will take but your humility will build respect for you in the hearts and minds of people working for you. Humility is an extension of respect. When you are respectful of others, you will listen to their opinions, thoughts, suggestions and feedback. This in turn will have people doing the same with you and building respect for you.

Leading with Humility

Leading with Humility

I have come across many people here at Microsoft who have used compassion and humility as their core leadership values when they were leading and managing teams and organizations. Two that really stand out for me include Matt Fingerhut, who was the General Manager for the Office 365 in Customer Service & Support organization and other is my current manager, Siva Harinath. Being high up in the management ranks Matt never gave that impression when he talked to me or anyone working in the trenches. Every time I talked to him I felt like I was talking to a peer. This is not just my opinion here but everybody in the organization felt that way when he talked to them. His compassion and humility was self-evident to anyone who interacted with him. My current manager Siva holds a PhD in Computer Science but he doesn’t go about telling everyone about that. His actions and engagement are enough for people to gauge his intellect. I actually found out about his doctorate degree accidentally when I went to his LinkedIn profile. He is a very caring manager who uses compassion as one of his core values as he interacts with all of us in the team. All of use need to become like Matt and Siva and make compassion and humility core part of our leadership values.

 

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About the author

Fawad Khan administrator

I have 20+ years of experience in Information Technology, training, startups and strategy with last ten year's emphasis on Cloud Computing technologies and services. Topics of interest for me include Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Teaching/Training, Leadership, CTO, CIO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. I am always very interested and eager to hear and discuss different opinions, feedback and perspectives.

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