A word on kindness

A misunderstood, but essential leadership trait.

by Stephen Jones

There are three things in human life that are important, Henry James, the US novelist, allegedly advised his nephew on his first day of school. “The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” 

The line's origins are slightly mysterious, if even correct - the reference is a paraphrased quote believed to be from a biography published many years after his death - but the message is a good one. 

Leadership can be made to feel like a dark art at the best of times. Human beings are complex creatures, with different wants, needs and aspirations. Some are motivated by money, others by the enjoyment or the sense of purpose they get from their job. The job of the leader is to find a way to get them all working towards the same outcome. 

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