Any attempt to lead with the show of power and authority without any obvious compassion will be taken for wickedness. Some leaders are in position today and all they ever do is to exercise their power over the people. You don’t seem to realize that there is more to leadership than showing the power or authority given to you over other people.
Several years back something happened in a youth organisation where I was one of the leaders and I don’t think I will forget that in a hurry. As part of the leaders we used to have a meeting very early in the morning and we all lived in different parts of the town. You are not supposed to be late for that meeting and should not give any excuse.
One day it was raining and I got to the venue of the meeting late. By the time I got there the leader of the organisation was already waiting outside. When I got there I was expecting him to ask me why I came late and probably ask me to stand outside or do something. He did not even mention my coming late. Instead of that he reached out for a towel and helped me to wipe my face. That action shocked me. I knew I was late and was thinking about my lateness but he shocked me by not talking about it and still gave me a towel for my face.
Some other leaders would have shouted and insisted on some form of punishment or something. You should know that the people you are leading are human beings. They have emotions and are going through things. If you refuse to understand this as a leader them you will only focus on the task that needs to be done and you will drive people much more than their will is carrying them.
I don’t expect that you will show compassion and just watch the people do what they will. There is the need for a serious balance. Let them know that the task at hand is taken seriously but it is important to not give them the impression that whatever happens to them, life goes on. If people know what happens to them will not count or pause the business or organisation for just a minute they will not show you the kind of commitment you are expecting.
You have to sympathize with people if they have lost something or they are mourning. If there is something you can do physically as a leader to show that you really mean the sympathy please do it. Once it a while, you should also put yourself in their positions and see things from the perspective of those you are leading. Be kind to the people you are leading.
A leader should let the people get into his heart much more than he allows his power get into his head. The difference between leading and ruling the people is compassion.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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