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Putting kindness at the core of business culture
I was extremely honoured to be awarded a Kindness and Leadership award this week, particularly given the regional company that I was among.
My intention this year is to make Kindness a central and identifiable part of our PageGroup leadership brand in Asia Pacific – and work with my colleagues and our partners to do the same.
My Mum and Dad instilled in me the importance of kindness and respect and I hope that I have effectively done the same not only with my three children, but also I hope within PageGroup.
To me, it is beyond dispute that being kind is simply the right thing to do. However, there are many compelling commercial reasons why being a kind leader is good for business too. Kindness can often be misconstrued as being ‘soft’ or uncommercial – which I do not believe is the case. It is my view that leaders who adopt a level of kindness and authenticity in addition to other key traits will deliver stronger results than other leaders who do not.
Being kind is often very easy and is an attitude that’s entirely within our control. As with all of us though, I have positive or negative moods, which impact the pre-disposition to be kind. And there is a need to work on this – because our biggest tests can be when we’re the most stressed.
Often the issue is not so much the message we’re delivering people, but the manner in which we deliver it. I’m a proud Aussie, and a few years ago I read the autobiography of legendary cricket captain, Steve Waugh. In the book there’s a line about leadership that stuck with me: “Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”
The act of being kind can be tremendously impactful to the recipient of the kindness and it is almost always positive for the person being kind. Whether it is a relatively small kind gesture or a major program of corporate social responsibility (CSR), I and others at Page gain a huge reward ourselves and this is great for our people and our business.
At PageGroup, our purpose is ‘changing lives’ and it is amazing how even very small acts of kindness can have a big impact on the lives of others. While leading PageGroup in Asia or I imagine most corporate roles bears little resemblance to the scale of challenges Mother Theresa helped others overcome, her words are relevant nonetheless and she summed it up when she said “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”