Sometimes in leadership, we talk about those "ruthless" examples such as Donald Trump, General George Patton and Golda Meir. For a new book coming out entitled Leadership Comes Softly, I'm looking for examples of the soft side of leadership, the tender moments where true leaders made their mark without the stereotype of brute force or fists of fury!
A good example might be from someone you know, or a famous person that's demonstrated it in public life.
Any input of examples you can think of would be most helpful, plus I think this makes for an interesting discussion as well!
This seems to be such a well trodden path. Today public radio just did a story on the head of Zappo shoes which has had global visitors. Google keeps being put forward as are many of the successful high tech silicon valley corporations. It seems in today's world, the "Trumps" are the exception in this corporate world which makes them interesting-like the show on TV like Hell's Kitchen and even some of the "reality" shows where this aberrant behavior creates interest.
I am wondering how this effort differs from the rest of the books that jump from the feature table of Barns and Noble to the sale racks almost non-stop.
Where are we different? what lessons learned that are new
The goal is to look beyond the grand gestures and loud moments. Instead, I am looking to explore those moments that stay with us throughout our lives that begin when we are young. For example, think of the convenience store clerk that offered a life lesson when a penny candy was stolen by a 6 year old; a teacher that offered an example of how to treat people with respect, despite this being a kindergarten class. Then there are the lessons from Mother Theresa and other 'gentle moments' that seldom seem to garner the attention that the leadership moments of General Patton might. Does this help clarify perhaps further?
Thanks. I went back and read your original post and still wonder what the "take-away" is for business leadership rather than acts of random kindness that may or may not have caused changes in people's lives or inspired people to become more "human or humane" where the examples you provide can be used in a variety of situations, like aphorisms or cliches . Your example of Patton is interesting because the incident with the soldier, which is what you are probably invoking, shows that he was a human with flaws, yet it did not diminish his leadership in the field and the fact that he inspired loyalty from his men and tolerance from his superiors because he and his command succeeded in spite of incompetencies of Montgomery and other others.
Random acts of kindness have little to do with business leadership where the fate of a business is in the hands of a leader. Mother Theresa is one example of hundreds whose inspiration from within had a religious commitment. Should we draw on Ghandi, the Buddha or even Christ? The Bible and the teachings of the Muhammad all make for great inspirations. Here there is a founding banking family that put its bank holding company into the ownership of a charitable foundation. The recent examples of Bill Gates and others putting fortunes from a successful business career into foundations and Yunus' Grameen Bank which spawned the micro-enterprise movement which has spread to developed countries.... the list is numerous and more
Now we have a "slow money" movement playing off of slow foods, social responsible investments of all types, those who struggled to create organic farms and local food movements and the entire socially run businesses which fill the literature.