There is an ancient tradition that describes three styles of compassionate leadership: The Trailblazer, who leads from the front, taking risks and setting an example; there is also The Ferryman, who accompanies those in his care and shapes the ups and downs of the crossing; and finally, there is The Shepherd, who sees every one of his flock into safety –or success, before himself.
These are three different styles and approaches, but they have an all-encompassing concern for the wellbeing of those they lead in common.
Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on the world in general.
No matter how much time we have to live, we should work to leave the world a better place.
But, what does that better world look like?
I believe a better world is one where people are happier. We all want to be happy; our desire for happiness is something we all share.
Today though, the world seems to be facing an emotional crisis, when the stress, anxiety, and depression rates are higher than ever.
The gap between rich and poor, and between CEOs and employees is at a historic high; and the ever-present focus on turning a profit often overrules our commitment to people, the environment, and our society.
We work closely together every day, but in spite of it, many feel lonely and stressed… there is a lack of responsibility toward each other, and we tend to forget that we, as humans, are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.
We need to ask ourselves what’s going wrong.
Perhaps our strong focus on material development and wealth accumulation had led us to deny our basic human need for connection and contribution.
Reconnect with the oneness of humanity and altruism is fundamental for societies and organizations, as well as their individuals in order to thrive in the long run.
And we all have a responsibility to make this happen.
So, what can leaders do?
Practice mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion
Cultivate your own peace of mind. Destructive emotions like anger and attachment cloud our ability to use our intellect clearly, so we need to tackle them.
Fear and anxiety give way to anger and violence. The opposite of fear is trust; which, mixed with warmheartedness, can boost our self-confidence, and compassion –a concern for other’s well-being– also reduces fear.
All this, not money and power, is what really attracts success.
When our mind is focused on compassion, it is calm, and when we do, we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.
Peace of mind also means being undisturbed, free from concern. It’s all about our mental attitude and having a calm mind, and it is within us, it requires that we develop a warm heart and use our emotional intelligence.
Remember, the source of happiness lies within.
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