Kindness & Leadership

The business world is quick to celebrate leaders of profitable and productive workplaces. But how often do those celebrations recognise the part played by kindness? 

Kindness makes business sense; it impacts outcomes, whether it be productivity, engagement or customer service. People do not forget acts of kindness.

Kind leaders change lives, transform organisations and collaborate. Kind leaders inspire creativity and productivity, share meaningful connections, and give their time so that others can give their best. By empowering others to succeed, kind leaders create an environment for the organisation as a whole to succeed. We need to recognise the contribution of these leaders to business, the economy and society.

" No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. "
- Aesop
"Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference."
- Mac Anderson
"In order for companies to improve, the people of the organisation have to become smarter and more resourceful and work together more effectively over time. For this to work, people actually have to care about their work, the company and one another. This requires the expert orchestration of a kind leader."
- William Baker & Michael O’Malley, Leading with Kindness
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
- Mother Teresa

Nominations open for the 2021 list

We cannot establish a robust list in isolation, from the outside looking in. That is why we need you to share with us stories of those who have impacted you in your career, people who are leading in a creative and different way, with kindness.

We recognise that a kind leader is defined not just by what they say and do, but by how what they say and do effects those around them. As such, each nomination will also need to be supported by two testimonials of support. These testimonials must come from people who have been impacted by the candidate.

Together with the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, we have explored the characteristics associated with kind leaders, those who are deeply thoughtful of others and show: humanity, generosity and compassion, and are dedicated to supporting the well-being of others and fostering a spirit of collaboration. These are the traits that we will be looking for, within the nomination.

All decisions are full and final and are made at the discretion of the judging panel. All nominators and nominees declare to the best of their knowledge and belief the information provided in their application is true and complete. A judgement on each listee is taken on this information submitted. The judging panel do not meet or interview the listees themselves. 

Nominations for the 2021 campaign to celebrate kindness are open.


  • The candidates can be male or female and there are no restrictions on age.
  • Candidates are working and based in the UK.
  • We are looking for leaders in their fields. Those in a position of leadership that can directly affect the culture of the company and industry within which they work.
  • Candidates must be nominated by another and cannot self-nominate.
  • Those nominating will need to write a citation about the candidate that clearly demonstrates their leadership impact through kindness.
  • We will also require two testimonials from people that have been impacted by the candidate.


Submit your nomination
Submit your nomination
We want to showcase those leading with kindness. We want to share their stories and impact.

Nominations close: June 14.
Assessment & shortlisting
Assessment & shortlisting
A panel made up of representatives from different industry sectors will review the entries and agree the final list of 50 stories. The 50 successful candidates will be announced on November 13.
List announcement
List announcement
On World Kindness Day, November 13, our 50 leading lights will be announced.

50 Leading Lights

2021 Judging Panel

Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL
Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL
Former Receiver General of Westminster Abbey and Clerk to Dean and Chapter
Emma Sergeant
Emma Sergeant
President of Europe for Das, Omnicom
HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan
HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan
Chair of the Judging Panel


Supported By
Supported By

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