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A Degree in Kindness

Leadership is about kindness and compassion as much as well as direction and decision-making.

There was a vogue in Universities a few years ago for offering courses of study in bizarre and crowd-pulling topics, that were judged to be shallow and populist, rather than serious and academic. They attracted lots of criticism. I’m not sure if they attracted a lot of students.

There’s been a parallel debate going on that education doesn’t prepare people for work, and employers regularly complain about this in surveys. It’s odd that, since I have so often been asked if studying a a particular topic will lead to a job (I was asked this about psychology just last week).

So on the one hand we have people studying to improve their employment prospects, and on the other, employers saying that it doesn’t do it well enough. Maybe the subjects we are told we should study are all wrong and it’s time for change.

Leadership and Kindness

If today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and young people need to be prepared for the cut and thrust of the business world, would kindness threaten that? For many critics, kindness in leadership equates to weakness. But surveys of from both employees and business customers suggests the opposite; being a kind leader is essential to success.

Effective leadership is a major factor in a positive workplace culture, which in turn effects everything from performance and staff retention, right down to the bottom line. While qualities like humanity and compassion don’t often get equated with hard data that the number-crunchers love, its been known for years that humane leaders get better results across the board, and in the longer-term. In todays corporate atmosphere where staff and shareholders are becoming more critical of harsh leadership style, the people at the top are increasingly being called to account for their treatment of the people at the bottom.

Back to University

I have thought for a long time that Harmony would be a worthy topic of study (I used to teach Conflict Resolution). My recommended curriculum now includes degree courses in topics like Acceptance, Kindness, and Self-love.

I wonder what the critics would say about that!

 

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