Jacqueline Carter: Compassionate Leadership

Jacqueline Carter: Compassionate Leadership

Show Notes

  • “Not only is it possible to do hard things in a human way, but when we do…our people thrive.” [9:50] Jacqueline Carter dives into the data behind her new book Compassionate Leader, delighted to find this human way of doing the hard things that solve the leadership challenge of better well-being and better performance.
  • “How does being rated high on compassion help with our stress and anxiety levels, which are off the charts?” [10:55] Marcel, taking note of the rising stress levels post-pandemic, asks Jacqueline how compassionate leadership changes that…and interestingly enough, it benefits both the leader and the staff. 
  • “There are many leaders that are smart…being smart means you have the answer to the question; being wise is knowing when not to give the answer to the question.” [13:40] Not only is compassion important but Jacqueline drives home the point of the importance of wisdom in that equation. A wise leader can bring together the greatest potential of the team.
  • “Empathy can lead to empathetic burnout; we can care SO much that we can get stuck and then we can’t do anything.” [21:20] Don’t let empathy hijack your brain. Jacqueline encourages leaders to ask the question, how can I be of benefit…to drive and influence their ability to lead with compassion. 
  • “Compassionate action can be no action, so long as it is done with wisdom.” [23:31] Leading with compassion can sometimes mean taking a step back. Jacqueline explains the need for space in decisions and actions…at times doing nothing at all. 
  • “Before we lead others with compassion, we must first learn to lead ourselves with compassion.” [23:45] Marcel quotes Jacqueline’s principle of ‘Oxygen Mask First’: a critical point for leaders to meet their needs and take care of themselves first so they can then be of service to others. 
  • “Busyness does not equal productivity” [25:30] Jacqueline’s tip for leaders is to stop wearing busyness as a badge of honor and instead pause and approach tasks with a calmness and understanding of what is possible and reasonable to do. 
  • “Wouldn’t it be amazing if as a culture, we valued our downtime as a restorative opportunity for us to be able to show up as a better version of ourselves.” [28:00] What does it mean to appreciate the “busylessness”? Jacqueline encourages an emphasis on creating space in your life and mind for actual downtime, where you are present as an individual. 
  • “It takes an immense amount of courage to see vulnerability as a leadership strength and not as a weakness.” [32:45] Marcel comments on the principle of ‘Courage over Comfort’ in which Jacqueline explains the hard stuff, that requires courage and uncomfortability, where leaders should embrace the fear and tame it.
  • “We can both be hard and human. We can focus on results and care. Not only is that better for ourselves, for our people, but also for our business.” [36:55] Rounding out the discussion on the 6 principles, Jacqueline parts with what she hopes listeners and readers will take away from her book, Compassionate Leader.

The Book

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About Marcel Schwantes

Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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