To lead tenderly!

So much has been written by people far most expert than me in how one should be leading their organisation in this time of great uncertainty and collective trauma. I have read widely in my bid to learn more so I can both improve my personal leadership capacity and assist my clients with whom I am regularly conversing.

Much of what is being said is familiar – lead your organisation with intelligent protocols, communicate clearly and regularly. Remember to reassure your community, put in new steps as necessary to ensure your organisation has the appropriate platforms for teleconferencing, identify the vulnerable in the organisation and above all, listen authentically to what the fears are for the people you have responsibility for. Show compassion and establish routines so all know what is expected of them and what can be expected from the organisation. As leaders, work in rapid cycles so that decisions made can be implemented, evaluated and refined.

The above all makes sense and leaders everywhere are doing just this. In my readings, however, I came across a word used (source now unknown) which is rarely used in the leadership arena. The word was “tenderness”. It kept coming back into my thinking space….and I like it!

Tenderness is a rather old fashioned word – often associated with the care we may display towards young children or the elderly…….or a word associated with love making…..not the word associated with strong leaders!

What would “tenderness” as a leadership quality look like? What would a society of tender people look like? What would new ways of “doing” and “being” look like if modelled and framed upon the word “tenderness” – I feel confident that it can only be a positive, and this tenderness of heart as a combination of kindness and genuine desire to be more compassionate and humane would lead to a deeper understanding of people. Surely this is what we need from our leaders today!

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