The Campaign

Our Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights campaign seeks to shine a great big spotlight on leaders who are impacting others through kindness. We see this campaign as a unique chance to build a new status quo, sharing advice and expertise from leaders and recognising the contribution of kind leaders to business, the economy and society.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific

Nominations for 2024 are now open!

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any gender, any age
  • Leaders in their fields
  • Must be endorsed by a nominator and at least 2 other people
  • We are also looking for Rising Stars, those on their way to senior leadership role

How To Get Involved

Make nominations for the 50 Leading Lights campaign. We are looking for leaders across all industries and professions, those in a position of leadership that can directly affect the culture of the company, organisation or industry in which they work. Nominate a kind leader today.

What’s the Vision?

To show that Kindness is key to transformative leadership. This fundamental shift in understanding leadership sees the quality of kindness take centre stage. Kindness is not about being ‘nice’ and saying ‘yes’. Kindness is rather a commitment to being honest and transparent with each other. It’s a willingness to be vulnerable (we are all human, after all); and by the same token it’s a generosity of spirit that enables a leader to be empathetic, to listen and to build the confidence of each individual in their team. We all know that our best work, our most creative ideas and solutions come when we feel secure and able to bring our whole selves to work, and so it is with kindness that we see employee engagement sky-rocket which, in turn, moves the needle on performance and productivity.

What’s the Goal?

To radically challenge the global leadership conversation by placing a spotlight on leaders around the world who are using the power of kindness to make a massive impact in business and to empower change. Our campaign places kindness firmly at the centre of any leadership debate and encourages us all, no matter our role or background to: #LeadWithKindness

Research

In both 2019 and 2020 we collaborated with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and Hall & Partners, to carry out research to explore the power of kindness in leaders. A combined, quantitative and qualitative study was carried out.

What makes a leader kind? What does kindness in leadership look like in the workplace?Insights were shared through two insightful and thought-provoking booklets, click the graphics below to view.

Our Alumni
 

“People will always remember how you made them feel much more than what you may have said. Kindness is just a manifestation of basic respect for other people. I’ve found that treating the people I have the privilege to lead with kindness, respect and common decency, significantly increases their willingness to go the extra mile to deliver great results. Kindness must not be at the expense of performance… just the opposite; it can be a powerful, cultural accelerator of performance.”

Alan Jope

Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
2021 UK Listee
 

“Have a mindset of respect and trust; give value to others; place yourself in their shoes so you can understand the sensitivities and dynamics of relationships you seek to build; place importance on the little things as much as the big things and follow through with action on the words that you say or promises you make. Lead by example so that you can inspire those around you to do the same and slowly build a culture of kindness that empowers all.”

Ana Margarita Hontiveros-Malvar

Vice President for Reputation Management & Sustainability, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
2021 Asia Pacific Listee
 

“I don’t want to avoid the question but I think I have to point out that kindness is not only essential for leaders, whoever they may be, it is essential for all of us. We owe it to each other to be kind. That is very basic but it is also totally true.”

“From a team management point of view, this kind of leadership is all about relationships and consistency. If you can support and honour your team, not just when things are going well, they will thrive.”

Jurgen Klopp

Team Manager, Liverpool Football Club
2019 UK Listee
 

“I think of kindness as care, generosity and consideration. In a world where there is high stress, lots of uncertainty and scarcity of resources, kindness creates a safe nurturing space. These safe spaces allow people to grow, heal and innovate. It’s contagious. Knowing that there is a leader in your organisation, someone who is invested in you, also allows people to look beyond themselves and for the wider organisation, including their co-workers.”

Karen Teo

Vice President APAC, Global Business Group, Facebook
2020 AP Listee
 

“Leadership is the acceptance of responsibility, not the assumption of power. The responsibility you hold is primarily to those you serve, not the performance targets you are trying to drive. Consequently, your reputation
is your credibility as a leader – people will always remember how you made them feel and word gets around. You will inevitably have to make difficult and unpopular decisions, to have tough conversations and say no. That’s leadership. But you can still be kind. Kindness isn’t about people pleasing, it isn’t about being ‘nice’ or about being weak. It’s about having compassion, considering others, doing what you can to make a difference to others and making time for people.”

Rhona Hunt

Superintendent, Metropolitan Police Service
2022 UK Listee
 

“Kindness enables authenticity and encourages a growth mindset in the team. Values I believe are important but often left out by leaders who are too focused on the goals and outputs. I learned in leading a mental health organization that it is important to create and nurture that space where one feels safe and protected to be vulnerable and live their true and best self. Allowing one to be authentically themselves, creates an enabling and healthy environment for them and others to grow and flourish. Leading with kindness creates that culture among the team that radiates not only to the members of the organization but is palpable wherever they are or whoever will be working outside the organization.”

Roy Dahildahil

Co-Founder, #MentalHealthPH (Philippines)
2022 AP Listee
 

“For me, kindness is something very personal because it was also modeled to me by my leader. Going through some professional struggles a few years ago, I had a very difficult time coping with what I needed to do. My leader saw that and held space for me to feel what I needed to feel and share what I needed to share. Her compassion allowed me to be authentic to myself and acknowledge my situation with grace.”

Chelsea Elizabeth Samson

Chief Business and Medical Affairs Officer, KonsultaMD (Philippines)
2023 AP Listee
 

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work (this can be online too!)
‘I believe creating a culture of kindness starts with modelling the behaviour ourselves – everyone has their part to play. By demonstrating kindness every day, in every interaction, we contribute to the cumulative effect of how people interact across the organisation. Kindness has to come from a place of authenticity, where there is a genuine interest in others by being helpful, generous or considerate.’

Darren Khong

Senior Commercial Finance Manager, Burberry
2023 UK listee
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