The Importance of Kindness in Leadership by Pinky Lilani CBE DL

The past two incredibly challenging years and the rapid and gruelling change that so many people have faced on a personal, professional and political level, have left us all placing leadership under the magnifying glass. What is key to transformative leadership? What qualities do leaders need now to empower their teams; build resilience and enable businesses and communities to thrive? I believe kindness is critical.


Our new ‘normal’


For two years we have spoken of returning back to ‘normal’. But, in 2022, our understanding of ‘normal’ has changed radically. ‘Normal’ is not powering down the desktop computer at 5pm and catching the train home and it’s certainly not a five-year plan handed down to the team from management. ‘Normal’ is blurred lines between our personal and professional lives; it’s working day-in and day-out to adapt to fast and often furious change and it’s a complete shake-up of  our preconceptions of what it takes to be a successful leader.


Kindness is key to transformative leadership


This fundamental shift in understanding leadership sees the quality of kindness take centre stage. Kindness is not about being ‘nice’ and saying ‘yes’. Kindness is rather a commitment to being honest and transparent with each other. It’s a willingness to be vulnerable (we are all human, after all); and by the same token it’s a generosity of spirit that enables a leader to be empathetic, to listen and to build the confidence of each individual in their team. We all know that our best work, our most creative ideas and solutions come when we feel secure and able to bring our whole selves to work, and so it is with kindness that we see employee engagement sky-rocket which, in turn, moves the needle on performance and productivity.


The Kindness Leadership Revolution, Leading Lights campaign


Our Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights campaign seeks to shine a great big spotlight on leaders who are impacting others through kindness. We see this campaign as a unique chance to build a new status quo, sharing advice and expertise from leaders and recognising the contribution of kind leaders to business, the economy and society.


Nominate an inspirational and kind leader today


We are looking for leaders across all industries and professions, those in a position of leadership that can directly affect the culture of the company, organisation or industry in which they work. Nominate a kind leader today. Head this way to find out how.


Nominations open on 22nd March  and close on 8th June. The full list of 50 Leading Lights will be announced across all major media channels on World Kindness Day, November 13, 2022.


A major shift in the context of leadership


In the uncertainty we all face right now, there is a shared sense of vulnerability. When we lead with kindness and compassion, in our own way and from the heart, we can bring a sense of control to our own narrative. No matter what is thrown at us or where we sit on the corporate ladder, we can always control the way that we behave towards others.


Let 2022 be the year we delve deeper into our understanding of leadership and the qualities we need (including a hefty portion of grit) to weather storms and bring out the very best in ourselves and others.