Our 50 Leading Lights

Zara Bryson

Director of Strategy and Innovation, Publicis Media

An experienced strategist, Zara has worked with well-known brands such as P&G, Boots, Samsung, Pizza Hut and Lidl, using her creativity and analytical skills to drive business growth. Zara believes in fostering cultures of curiosity, diversity and innovation within teams and clients alike. She’s a force for positive industry change, championing supportive, empathetic and collaborative ways of working and leadership. She is also Co-Head of Strategy for professional network, Bloom, and podcast host of Who’s Next (an interview-based show focused on Shine Theory).
“Zara is the very definition of Shine Theory. Meet her and you’ll be struck by her commitment to lifting up others. A brilliant listener and selfless giver, Zara invites people to walk alongside her and gives so much of herself so that others can shine. At work, she goes out of her way to provide support to those around her and to be a positive influence. Volunteering for professional network Bloom, she works tirelessly to give people the confidence to overcome imposter syndrome in their own careers.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness has always been important but perhaps the events of 2020 have accelerated the realisation that kindness really is an essential leadership skill, bringing people together in business as well as wider society. Whilst we are physically (and even ideologically) more disconnected from each other than ever before, there is a need for greater compassion and understanding to unite teams so as to navigate change. When leaders role model kindness, they have the power to positively shape the cultures around them.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness makes sense in friendships, relationships and in fact any interaction because it brings out the best in people. In business, kindness helps build connections and allows people the space to be authentic so they can achieve amazing things. Kindness fosters belief, respect and, in turn, dedication and productivity as people are encouraged to live their values, speak up and be motivated in what they do.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Small acts of kindness make a significant impact every day. Tiny decisions we make have knock-on effects, which cascade to the next person and the next person. Near the beginning of lockdown, a business leader I know kindly invited me to a virtual meditation group just at the time I needed it most. That action in turn led me to create my own virtual collaborative networks to support people who I knew were going through a tough time.

Yasmin Waljee OBE

International Pro Bono Director, Hogan Lovells

Yasmin is Hogan Lovells’ International Pro Bono Director. She delivers an outstanding pro bono service to charities, individuals and social enterprises in need. By designing and implementing pro bono projects which draw on the firm’s commercial legal knowledge and skills to produce measurable outcomes nationally and internationally, Yasmin has helped the firm achieve so much and impact so many. Yasmin is an international human rights lawyer and has advised on issues relating to compensation for victims of crime and terrorism, and regularly works on public policy issues in this area. Yasmin co-leads the firm’s award-winning social enterprise and social finance practice.
“Yasmin cares passionately about social justice and fighting for rights for those who would not normally have access to legal services. A recent example which demonstrates this is her groundbreaking work supporting Yazidi women who were victims of ISIS. She is setting precedents with her human rights work and despite many obstacles she never gives up. This unwavering commitment to doing what is right filters through every aspect of her work, into her team and across the firm.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
In a fractured world, where society is more judgemental and less forgiving than ever before, we need leaders who can practice kindness. Collaboration is the only way we will tackle the world's most intractable social issues and that will require us to approach the issues with kindness and respect for others. Being kind to people you know and trust is easy, the challenge is to extend that spirit of warmth to those who are different from you.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
We are all far more effective if we feel valued and respected and that will only be achieved when we experience kindness and generosity of spirit. And it is reciprocal – the more we can extend consideration to others, the more we generate a culture of respect in which we can thrive as individuals. Practicing active kindness is critical to give us hope in these times of uncertainty.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
The pro bono/free legal advice movement is an example of kindness in leadership and an aspiration to ‘do good’. Lawyers undertake daily acts of kindness to support people who are struggling with immigration issues, domestic violence, and the insecurity of dealing with debt and housing problems. This work is rarely recognised and can attract criticism but the impact is to restore dignity and peace of mind, which cannot be underestimated for those facing the situation alone.

Tara McGovern

Detective Chief Superintendent, Metropolitan Police Service

Tara is a Detective Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). She joined Hampshire Police in 1995 and transferred to the MPS in 2015. Tara founded the MPS Network of Women in 2018, a forward-focussed peer group for staff of all ranks/grades, aimed at positive development, growth and confidence-building through the sharing of knowledge and experience. With women underrepresented across the organisation, Tara is determined to drive change and gender equality so as to make a positive impact on performance, morale, ethics and culture.
“Tara is a true leader who inspires staff, male and female, in order to improve the culture of the MPS and encourage women to succeed. The Network of Women was set up in addition to Tara undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2019. She has been an inspiration to many, not only in the set up of this network, but she has also done a significant amount of work to raise awareness of breast cancer, ensuring the MPS can support those affected by cancer, by setting up support networks and writing blogs throughout her treatment.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Policing is challenging and we need an environment where our people feel valued and supported. Kind leaders bring compassion and trust to empower and value the people around them, encouraging collaboration. Our people are then confident to bring their true selves to the workplace, ensuring they thrive. In the current climate, understanding and empathy for what others are going through is essential to ensure the wellbeing of the workforce – kindness in leadership has never been more important.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Creating a diverse, inclusive organisation where everyone feels that they have a voice ensures you have access to the widest talent pool and you create space for different thoughts and ideas. I have found that by showing a genuine interest in people, their welfare and development, they have flourished. Happy people are loyal, productive, have clarity of purpose and are able to fulfil their potential – all of which is good for them, the organisation and the communities we serve.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
For me, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is one of the most inspirational leaders of our time. She is the epitome of great leadership – successfully leading her country through terrorism and pandemic with kindness, courage, emotional intelligence and compassion. A true role model who demonstrates the strength and potential of kind leadership.

Tamara Box

Managing Partner, Europe and the Middle East, Reed Smith LLP

Tamara is Managing Partner for Europe and the Middle East at Reed Smith LLP. She’s a member of the firm’s senior management team and its global board, as well as a market-leading finance lawyer with over 20 years of experience. In 2019, Tamara was ranked 30th in the global Yahoo Finance HERoesWomen Role Model List and shortlisted for Women in Law at the British Legal Awards. She is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee.
“Tamara is not only extremely generous with her time but also generous with creating opportunities and providing the necessary support that enables an opportunity to be converted into a genuine success. Fuelled by relentless support and encouragement, over the past ten years I have witnessed countless lawyers grow and benefit from her leadership but also witnessed how the culture of her team has grown and developed to embody all of these tremendous attributes.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Probably the most important trait of a leader in the 21st century is kindness. It encompasses listening to the ideas and concerns of others, treating people equitably, and encouraging authenticity both in oneself and in others. We know that innovation is the way forward for our firms and companies; using kindness to build a safe environment where everyone is free to speak – even to disagree – is vital to the creative process.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
The word ‘kindness’ comes from the Old English ‘kyndnes,’ which meant ‘produce or increase.’ In 14th century Middle English, the word ‘kindenes’ took on the additional meaning of ‘courtesy’ or “‘noble deeds.’ Our language seems to be telling us that through kindness we can produce or increase our effectiveness, and a recent study at the University of Warwick would agree: their data shows that being kind increases happiness, and a content workforce is 12% more productive than an unhappy one.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Most would agree that New Zealand has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively than many other countries around the globe. The country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is undoubtedly a kind leader – through compassion, empathy, and respect, she earned the trust and confidence of the people and united them in their determination to comply with uncomfortable restrictions as a means of reducing the devastating effects of the virus. Her tactics have been successful, and her country has suffered less than most.

Taiwo Coker

Operations Manager, Transport for London

With over 17 years of management experience at the London Underground (LU), Taiwo drives the Mayor of London’s transport vision by leading teams to deliver world-class services, while mitigating reputational risks in her capacity as LU Ambassador. As an excellent risk forecaster and strategist, she accounts for multi-million-pound project budgets. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Taiwo served as Vice Chair of LU’s Women’s Staff Network Group. Last year, she also collaborated with the University of Westminster and the Uganda High Commission on a major water sanitation project in Uganda.
“Taiwo is an inspiration and an excellent role model for all women. Working in a male-dominated environment she has risen to the top as Operations Manager at Transport for London – an incredibly challenging and demanding role and, alongside this, she balances other personal commitments. Last year she completed an MBA and embarked on a water sanitation mission project to Uganda. She truly embodies the idea that there is no limit to achieving your dreams – breaking glass ceilings on gender, racial and age gaps!”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
It is essential for leaders in the current Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous (VUCA) world to be transparent, compassionate, kind, fair and inclusive. Leaders should be empathetic role models who inspire and challenge others to take greater ownership and responsibility in making the world a better place. This creates win-win situations for everyone, especially in the workplace, as team members can then work collaboratively to successfully proffer effective solutions which can have a truly positive impact on society at large.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Many businesses focus squarely on generating profits and hitting targets, often at the expense of due care for employees. However, organisations that are kind to employees are actually more likely to generate sustainable outcomes for shareholders, as employees are likely to perform at higher efficiency levels and as true ambassadors of an organisation that treats everyone kindly.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Active listening and communication are truly impactful qualities. Championing inclusion in the workplace, I foster a positive environment by running team events which encourage open dialogue amongst employees regardless of seniority level. The feedback from these events has been very positive. They have directly led to an increased awareness of employee engagement issues across the board, and also marked improvements in outcomes of the periodic survey of employee engagement with leadership at London Underground and Transport for London.

Surg Cdr Jo Keogh OBE RN

Commanding Officer Joint Hospital Group (South West), Royal Navy

Jo has served in the Royal Navy as a doctor and radiologist since 1996. She is the Commanding Officer of the Joint Hospital Group (South West) and has served her country in austere environments from Afghanistan to the Ukraine, often working as the only doctor on Navy ships and relying on good humour and kindness to provide the best possible care to all. Her command direction to the unit is three-fold – be kind to your people, be kind to your patients but, ultimately, be kind to yourself.
“Joanna is thoughtful on every occasion, considering the impact of her decisions and direction on those whom she leads. Being transparent with aspects of her own life and providing truthful, inspiring actions to all those with whom she comes into contact, has earnt her the trust and loyalty of her personnel – not an easy achievement in a relatively short period of command. Joanna leads by example and her caring and kind nature shines through to everyone, no matter their seniority.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Leaders have to build connections, motivate and support those in their team, especially since the importance of belonging increasingly matters to people in an uncertain world. Kindness in a leader is key to ensuring people deliver their best in the workplace, where they need to feel valued and to flourish psychologically. For me, finding that balance and demonstrating empathy is linked to mindfulness and mental fitness, understanding how we interact with each other daily and demonstrating this even by simple acts like saying ‘thank you’ are key to making a difference.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
In healthcare few would argue that kindness to patients should be non-negotiable but kindness to colleagues is often less of a priority in a pressurised system. For everyone working in stressful NHS environments the positive ripple effect that small acts of altruism can bring to a team can help to reinforce the fragile workforce. The initiative 'Civility Saves Lives' is based on similar principles and demonstrates improved patient outcomes – it costs nothing but the improvement in psychological safety benefits everyone.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Dealing with distressing complex casualties of conflict in Afghanistan was an exceptionally challenging professional situation and at a difficult time in my personal life. My Commanding Officer, Carol Betteridge, modelled kindness in her management style with a massive impact on all staff and, ultimately, our patients. Making time to be available, to listen and comfort, providing a mug of tea and even hugs when required, she was the epitome of a compassionate, kind leader and I have drawn many lessons informing my own approach from hers.

Simon Lawson

Chairman, Lawsons

Thirty years ago Simon joined the family business, a building materials, timber and fencing company. The company now employs over 340 staff in 16 branches and has won numerous awards for excellence. Passionate about building a values-based business built on trust and empathy, Simon’s business model seeks to move towards a triple bottom line approach – making a profit, building community and focusing on environmental responsibility.
“Simon has placed the ethos of ‘putting people first’ at the centre of the business. Lawsons’ strapline is ‘Family Values – Professional Service’, and this encapsulates exactly what the business is all about. It’s a customer and employee-focused family business that puts people first before profit. Simon promotes and supports the special values Lawsons holds dear, including adopting a personal approach and striving to fulfil all customer and employee needs.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
The lost art of leadership is compassion and humility. The Benedictine monks of the seventh century had workshops where they had to outdo each other in humility. What leadership programme does this today? Treat others how you would like to be treated. Ego and narcissism are one of the biggest challenges of a leader.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Trust and pride in who you work for generate longevity in a business context. The Quakers of the 1850s demonstrated immense loyalty and became very successful in their industries (good examples are Cadbury and Rowntree’s). Evidence today is that trust is declining along with disparities of wealth. Kindness can heal some of this.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
The evidence is an anonymous survey we completed with our employees. Trust and prid scored 85% to 90% for 72% of our staff who filled in the survey. It is the little things that matter day to day. We have many testimonials on this.

Shruti Saujani

Head of Volunteering, England and Wales Cricket Board

Shruti joined the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2019 as the City Programmes Manager, leading a new team of seven. Shruti led on an exciting journey during the Cricket World Cup, delivering national cricket programmes in non-traditional venues, in line with the South Asian Action Plan. The project engaged 549 South Asian females in cricket volunteering roles across the country. Recently, Shruti was promoted to Head of Volunteering. In this new role, Shruti is focused on designing the ECB’s first game-wide volunteering strategy.
“Shruti is supportive, caring, and passionate about empowering others and always leads with kindness. She is a keen advocate of connecting with others at every level and takes pride in celebrating her team’s successes as her own. Shruti is a firm believer in changing the world and she leads by example, encouraging her team to always ‘dream big’. Shruti has cultivated a positive team culture, which allows everyone to bring their full selves to work.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness in leadership is essential as it allows you to connect with individuals on a more personal level, so they feel supported and guided. I feel that by creating a happy and caring environment, you empower someone to strive for their best.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
A culture of kindness encourages people to bring their whole selves to work, to believe in a vision, to feel supported and valued. Meaningful relationships lead to happy people and increased productivity towards a shared purpose.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
For me, it's taking time to celebrate, to understand and to learn the little things about people. By truly understanding, you can build better relationships with those around you and show genuine interest – this really helps create an environment where everyone feels welcome.

Serge Rashidi-Zakuani

Sky Labs Innovation Coach, Sky

Serge a storyteller at heart, starting with poetry and self-written raps as a teenager, he evolved to writing stage plays and screenplays, launching his own independent production company in 2008. Since then he has served as a writer, director and producer on multiple productions and has 18 production credits to his name. In 2012 Serge joined Sky Academy Studios as a facilitator, eventually becoming Innovation Coach. To date, his work has helped engage over 160,000 young people aged 8–16, helping them to develop key life skills while creating factual and fictional content.
“‘You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This has never been more true than for Serge. His talent, compassion and positive energy has made him not only a great manager but a true friend. Serge’s sensitive and supportive character has enabled him to tap into a person’s strength to effortlessly engage with them and help them prosper.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Now more than ever, we need leaders who connect with people in an authentic way. In my opinion, very few qualities cut through the layers of guarded distance we all often put up like kindness does. Kindness is essential for a leader in today's world because it's one of the fastest ways to build trust and trust is crucial when leading others. People work well with leaders they like but give their all to leaders they trust.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
In my experience, kindness makes business sense in its ability to build empathy and trust with colleagues rapidly. Kindness is unfortunately still a rare commodity in the business world but, the truth is, whenever it's displayed by a leader it reveals strength of character within that leader which builds trustworthiness. I have built teams that work well together purely based on exercising qualities like kindness because, in my experience, I have found that colleagues more often than not reciprocate in-kind.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
It's hard to pick one example so instead I'll pick many small experiences of kindness that have made a significant impact on me. On numerous occasions, I've been the recipient of a leader's kindness. Whether in word or deed, the impact has always been the same, I feel heard, seen and empowered and, in return, I'm inspired to respond in similar fashion to those around me. That's the thing about kindness, the ripple effects are endless.

Sally Nelson

Chief People Officer, Fidelity International

As Chief People Officer at Fidelity International, Sally is responsible for global human resources and communications. She focuses holistically on employee experience, built upon a diverse, inclusive and meritocratic organisation and underpinned by a culture of continuous self-improvement and effective talent management. Sally joined Fidelity in 1999 from PwC. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and a Trustee on the boards of Big Education and Future First, an education charity building alumni communities in state schools across the UK.
“Sally is a role model for the power of kindness in effective leadership, known for her calm and thoughtful style, which has led Fidelity to greater success by focusing on purpose, people, values and behaviours. She gives generously of her time and knowledge to her charitable commitments. Her focus on nurturing talent has strengthened career vitality within her team and across the organisation, with many colleagues testifying to her personal impact on their development. Sally’s compassionate leadership has placed employee wellbeing at the centre of Fidelity’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, resulting in our highest ever employee engagement scores.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness is fundamental to being a trusted leader – especially in this time of great disruption, where everyone has faced unprecedented challenges. By taking a compassionate approach and prioritising wellbeing, Fidelity International increased employee engagement, maintained high productivity, minimised disruption to business continuity, and maintained an excellent service to our customers. People can sometimes forget what you did, but they remember how you made them feel – and this kindness builds lasting loyalty with our people, customers and stakeholders.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kind leaders will always get back more than they give in terms of results, engagement and seeing people flourish. Our people are vital to our organisation’s success; kind leaders inspire, engage and grow their people so that they can get the very best out of their teams – and happy employees lead to happy customers. Yes, leaders sometimes have to make tough decisions but they can do this in a respectful, inclusive way that demonstrates their commitment to fairness.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
My personal experience of kindness from leaders made me feel incredibly loyal to Fidelity International and shaped me as a leader. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, it meant so much that senior leaders offered help and respected my preference to work throughout treatment. Their support gave me the time and space to become myself again. As a mentor, coach and leader, I endeavour to bring that same empathy and willingness to tailor support for the individual.

Sadie Juncal

Police Constable Women's Engagement Officer, Metropolitan Police Service

Sadie is a Community Engagement Officer heading up regular community-led forums and engagement initiatives that bring together empowered women who, through training and education, empower diverse communities and ensure the Met is able to serve in the best way possible. Prior to her current role, Sadie was a dedicated Sexual Offences Technique Officer for 10 years, working in a high volume crime unit with survivors of trauma.
“Sadie invited me to join the S015 women’s group in 2018. She has brought together key women across London and the country. All the women work with communities in a variety of areas such as safeguarding, community capacity building, the voluntary sector and counter extremism. Sadie has given us all opportunities to learn, develop and support one another. Most of all, she has given us a voice on a national level to make a difference, whereas before,we may not have had that opportunity. This is why the work she does is so vitally important.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness enhances our life, our work and our communities, making us feel that we are doing something rewarding for one another. It is so simple really and brings us all together. Something as simple as smiling at someone is an act of kindness in my eyes.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
OK, this I know is a quote but I love it: ‘No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.’ (Aesop)

In business, if we do something for a return, it is not kindness, it's just business as usual. Being kind at work puts aside egos, works on our relationships and boosts team confidence.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
My senior management arrive at work and spend 30 minutes in the office with us before heading to their own seats. Why? Because the kindness shown is asking each and every one of us how we are. I feel part of a family, I call them my work parents, they show kindness by being invested in us all and it shows they really care.

Rear Admiral Jim Macleod CB

Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel) and Defence Services Secretary, Ministry of Defence (Royal Navy)

Jim is an inspirational, visionary leader who has nurtured and empowered members of the armed forces by celebrating diversity and creating a truly inclusive environment within which his team can thrive. Challenging existing norms about gender, he established a working group to transform the culture of the armed forces by increasing gender diversity (from the current 3% senior women to 30% senior women in the military by 2030). Leading by example and investing in behavioural change initiatives, Jim has influenced the important first steps of this necessary transformation.
“By encouraging and co-creating a shared vision for the future, Jim has nurtured and developed his team and wider stakeholders on the change journey. Displaying humility and openness about his own weaknesses, unconscious biases and need to learn from others’ lived experiences, his approachable and empathetic style make him an ideal role model of male allyship, especially in a masculine and homogenous organisation like the military. He inspires trust in others, creating a collaborative culture that celebrates diversity and enables all in the team to be their best and authentic selves.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Good leaders not only need to be seen but they must see those who work for them. By being kind and compassionate as a leader you demonstrate a willingness to see another, to empathise with their world, show respect and affirm their value, whilst at the same time allowing others to see who you really are. This characteristic inspires loyalty and engagement and builds successful teams and organisations. This is as true today as it has always been.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness doesn’t mean soft, it doesn’t mean ducking the difficult decisions, indeed I think it makes difficult decisions easier. In a world full of complex problems, no one person can deliver success, we can only succeed by unlocking the potential in everyone. People respond best when valued, trusted and respected, they engage fully and in doing so can resolve the most difficult of problems – that must make business sense!
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
When people feel they do not fit the perceived mould, they become reluctant to take risks, they do what they are required to, following safe well-trodden paths. By showing you care for and respect an individual, a leader provides the psychological safety to allow people to be themselves, to try different paths and not fear failing. This unlocks untold energy and commitment that, like a magnet, draws more talent to the team and it’s at that point that the impossible becomes possible.

Rachel Pavlou

National Women's Football Development Manager, The Football Association

Rachel has over 28 years of sports development experience, specialising in the development of women’s football at the Football Association. Rachel is currently the FA National & International Women’s Football Development Manager, with her main areas of responsibility being to develop football opportunities for female under-represented communities and to lead on international relations in women’s football development. She is a designated expert in Women’s Football Development at both FIFA and UEFA, and a Trustee at Aston Villa Foundation.
“Rachel embodies the values of kindness in leadership in all she does. She champions girls and women’s football, creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to play, feel valued, make friends and have a sense of belonging. She has pioneered programmes with under-represented groups including refugees and works collaboratively and with kindness to make things better for everyone. She mentors, champions and elevates others because she knows that all of us win when one of us rises.” – Ruth Shaw, General Manager, The Premier League Charitable Fund.

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
With everything that is happening in our world today, genuinely caring about each other cannot be underestimated. People should always come first and, when this happens, it accelerates trust and productivity. If you take time to listen, understand, support and signpost people, they shine in front of you. Decency and loyalty empowers people; a smile and thank you makes people feel valued.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Over the years, I have observed that so many women lack confidence in their abilities, just like me, and all we need is people to be kind and caring for us to be so much more self-assured to succeed. I have seen women go on and do great things because they have felt empowered as opportunities have been offered to them with encouragement to ‘just go for it, because you can do it’.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Here I would like to call out Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister. The way in which she has demonstrated kindness in leadership during terrible terrorism atrocities, natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic has been revered across the globe. It is obvious for all to see that she respects, cares and embraces differences, and champions inclusion and equality in her actions. She has even taken a pay cut in solidarity with those who have lost jobs or taken cuts themselves.

Rachel Forde

Chief Executive Officer, UM

Rachel is an outstanding leader in the communications industry, with over 20 years of experience in the advertising world. She is CEO of UM, a leading global media agency. Rachel’s signature leadership style is characterised by empathy, kindness and fun, with an approach that’s best described: ‘people first, the rest will follow’. Rachel’s trajectory reflects the success of her leadership style. Prior to joining UM, she rose through the ranks at Publicis Groupe, becoming MD of Starcom’s flagship Procter & Gamble business and, later, CEO of Spark Foundry.
“Rachel has made it her business to understand what UM’s talent and clients want and need. Crucially, she acts on that insight and delivers change and action in order to better support them. Rachel’s approach to business delivers both compassion and impact (not least, commercially): UM’s annual revenue has grown by 30% under her leadership; our gender pay gap has decreased from 19.8% to 9.2%; UM’s executive board has evolved from 85:15 male-to-female to 50:50, and 96% of employees are in agreement with ‘I believe in our leader’s vision’.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
To me, a key element of kindness is empathy: having the capacity (and taking the time) to listen to those around us and understand how they are feeling. It's the only way we can make informed, meaningful and tangible decisions that will benefit everybody around us. As we live through some extremely tough external circumstances, in which our bodies, minds, identities and the world around us are more fragile than ever, kindness and empathy are all the more crucial.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
When you show kindness to people around you, they are more likely to feel supported, protected and – most importantly – able to be themselves. A happier workforce is a more effective workforce, so everyone benefits. I also believe that showing kindness to your employees sends a message of respect, which in turn empowers people to speak up and have a voice. As leaders, we will be more successful by listening to others at all levels around us.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I'm going to move out of the media world into the political one. When I watched the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressing young children directly on national television, speaking to them as compassionately as their own parents would about the fears and worries they may be feeling about COVID-19, I was filled with admiration and respect. Her actions throughout the pandemic have been characterised by kindness – and the country has weathered the storm better as a result.

Professor Deborah Bowman MBE

Emeritus Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law, St George’s, University of London

Deborah is an Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law who has combined a successful academic career with effective and values-based senior leadership in Higher Education and health and social care where she has been responsible for public engagement, equality and diversity, quality and partnerships, mentoring, staff wellbeing and organisational development. Throughout her career, she has worked in policy settings and public organisations, often in standards and regulation. Deborah has published widely on ethics, both in relation to individuals and organisations. She is a broadcaster, particularly for BBC Radio, and has worked extensively in public engagement. She has held a range of non-executive, Chair and Board roles working with regulators, charities, funding bodies, schools and NHS Trusts, including national public appointments.
“Professor Deborah Bowman’s commitment to develop and empower students and colleagues, especially women, both inside the organisation and out, has had immeasurable impact in higher education and the public sector. She is a truly exceptional individual with a tremendous intellect that she is able to use with great charm and kindness in her leadership of others. Her approach is unfailingly thoughtful, individualised and supportive, with the ability to celebrate people’s humanity and strengths so that they are able to develop confidently.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness, for me, is the characteristic that reflects that leadership is an inherently relational and human-centred endeavour. We lead people and leaders are people. The word reminds me of 'kinship'. I think it is difficult to be an effective leader without both recognising that the people we work with matter as individuals and recognising the collective power of treating those individuals well. Kindness is fundamental, essential and often transformative in what it models, creates and develops in any organisation.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness that is meaningful, rather than rhetorical, creates a culture of possibility. It encourages people to be open, which is essential to being a learning and improving organisation. Kindness creates business essentials, including trust, loyalty, reputation, impact, distinctiveness and productivity. Kindness is memorable and endures long after business cards are exchanged or meetings held. People who are heard and who know that their ideas and concerns will be received with kindness thrive. In turn, the organisation will thrive too.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was met with great kindness. I continued working during demanding treatment and they made that possible. I was leading a strategic application for an institutional award. I was facilitated in my leadership role whilst others generously adapted their schedules to support the project when I was in hospital. That kindness led to a successful submission and it strengthened the team who understood that reciprocal kindness was an asset to us all.

Philippa Bonay

Director of People and Business Services, Office for National Statistics

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and with years of experience in HR, Philippa leads a team of 270 across a broad corporate services remit. She is a member of the executive teams of the Office for National Statistics and Civil Service HR, with a strong belief in inclusion, compassion and nurturing growth. Committed to the development of women and minority groups, she has implemented many successful initiatives and mentored extensively. Philippa is also engaged in projects to improve literacy and life chances for children.
“Philippa leads with a strong values base and an innate ability to inspire and encourage others. She has genuine compassion, which is experienced by those around her through her care and nurture, both professionally and personally. She works tirelessly in the service of others and has been fundamental in the career success of many. Her inclusivity and energy are exemplary; she brings people together, she represents and consistently seeks the views of others to drive innovation in her work and for her business, changing the culture of organisations, and making them employers of choice.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Never have so many people needed to experience the compassion of others as they do at this time. Look at the positive impact kindness has had on individuals, communities and countries over recent months, and the opposite effect where kindness is absent. The challenges being faced now and that will continue for a long time after we are able to manage COVID-19, will be best addressed by showing consideration, empathy, fairness and care to our fellow human beings.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness gives people space and a voice to achieve their full potential and a sense of belonging. When people feel encouraged and supported, they are more engaged, innovation increases, productivity rises, and more people want to work with you. Being kind and fair in your organisation and for the communities you serve draws people to you. If you are kind in what you do and how you do it, you attract the best, retain the best and achieve amazing things.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
A talented woman with a disability who had never been supported or encouraged at work joined a team where its members led with kindness. She began to thrive, her disability became more manageable and, on the days it wasn’t, she felt supported to rest. She passed exams she has previously failed and has now set up her own art business which is thriving. She attributes her success to the kindness she has been shown.

Paul Ramsbottom OBE

Chief Executive Officer, The Wolfson Foundation

Paul was awarded an OBE for services to charity in 2020. He began work for the Wolfson Foundation as a Grants Assistant in 1998, working his way up to CEO. Outside of his professional life, Paul has an interest in international development. For over a decade he has been Chair of the Savannah Education Trust, a charity that provides education for some of the poorest children in West Africa. He is also a Trustee of Mercy Ships UK, an organisation that deploys hospital ships to help those who have no access to basic surgical care.
“Paul is a champion of the impact philanthropy can have on society. He is thoughtful and generous with his advice to all who work in the education and non-profit sectors. He speaks at conferences and is a thought leader. He also generously supports and advises other charitable trusts and foundations. Paul is a great listener. He wants to learn from those he works with and strives to work with compassion and empathy. He shows a genuine desire to make the world a better place.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness is essential throughout life, and business life or leadership is no exception. Kindness is emphatically not the opposite of tough decision-making. Indeed, when there are difficult decisions or discussions, courtesy, respect and kindness are probably even more important.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Most businesses, whatever the sector, rely on strong relationships: within staff teams, and with external partners. Kindness and thoughtfulness seem to me to be the lifeblood of those successful relationships. I think there is an added dimension too when working in the charitable sector: our institutional aims may be worthy and lofty – but there is therefore an increased need for our personal behaviour to live up to those ideals.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
When I think of kindness, I always think of my father – for many years he was a pastor, often serving in difficult circumstances. His example to me was of consistent kindness in seemingly small, daily, thoughtful actions – across all areas of life and many decades. That speaks more powerfully to me (and long-term has been more influential) than one-off or grander gestures.

Olivia Camillo

Deputy Headteacher and Director of Sixth Form, The Camden School for Girls

Olivia has risen through the ranks at the Camden School for Girls from being Head of English to serving as Deputy Headteacher, with responsibility for the sixth form. She still teaches English throughout the school and her students have achieved extraordinary results. The Camden School for Girls is ranked among the top 100 schools in the UK (including private schools) and is a non-selective comprehensive in the inner city. Sixth form students regularly secure over 15 Oxbridge places and five or more medical school places each year.
“Olivia’s kindness, the importance she gives to student wellbeing and her approach ability make her the ideal person to enable students to feel welcome and safe. Olivia has a natural warmth and friendliness which students and colleagues like and respect. This is combined with enormous determination to see students succeed; her kindness is not in any way a sign of weakness; quite the opposite. It manifests itself in an uncompromising professional vision that only through combining a welcoming and compassionate ethos with high standards and expectations can we help students grow and achieve in their final school years.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Treating those we work with with kindness has always been of vital importance but perhaps even more so in today’s world of virtual mass communication, which unfortunately often provides a wide-reaching platform for hurtful and hateful rhetoric. It is therefore essential for individuals in positions of leadership and responsibility to treat those they work with with kindness and respect in order to reinforce positive modes of behaviour and to act as role models themselves.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness is absolutely fundamental in terms of making the people you work with feel valued and respected as individuals and also to provide them with a space where they feel safe and supported. In the school environment, an ethos of kindness and mutual respect creates the optimum learning environment, enabling young people to produce the best work they can whilst also building up their confidence and self belief. Kindness actually is the gift that keeps giving!
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
In terms of my own profession, I would measure the impact of kindness and my own success as a leader not only in the academic achievements of my students, but also in how I might have contributed to them becoming more caring, responsible members of society. My students make me proud every day with their own myriad acts of kindness and their concern for and support of others less fortunate than themselves, both in school and in the wider community.

Nitin Paranjpe

Global Chief Operating Officer, Unilever

Nitin was appointed COO of Unilever in 2019, one of the world’s largest CPG companies, with approximately 400 brands, 150,000 associates and a turnover of approximately $60Bn USD. Nitin is focused on creating a faster and more responsive business and leveraging synergies, building future capabilities, and accelerating the digitisation of the organisation. Prior to this role, Nitin has a long history within the organisation, including most recently serving as President, Foods & Refreshment, and as President of Unilever’s Home Care Division. Nitin joined Unilever at Hindustan Lever Limited (India) in 1987 where he held various roles in marketing and sales. In 2000, he moved to Unilever London and in 2008 he was appointed as CEO of Hindustan Unilever Limited, India and Executive Vice President for Unilever, South Asia.
“Nitin embodies kindness by always being available for team members and providing advice generously. He shows gratitude for jobs well done, remains calm and kind even in difficult situations, never taking compliments as individual accomplishments but always including appreciation for the team. By showing kindness he sets people up for success, giving them the confidence to act, and uses it as a key agent of human change. He shows his kindness to his teams, his family, India and his desire to make the world a better place, starting by being the best version of himself. What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
‘Kindness’ is not often used in the context of business, nor is it part of the dominant narrative of business leaders. What it means to me is being true to your values, being empathetic, caring, inclusive and authentic. That’s more essential now than it has ever been because there is no manual to manage these turbulent times, so relying on your value compass, of which kindness is an essential part, will allow you to cope and thrive not only individually, but collectively.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
I think that if kindness in business is about being authentic and empathetic, if it’s about creating conditions that allow people to flourish, and if it’s about being fair and objective and putting people first, then it is an invaluable quality for everyone to demonstrate – not just for leaders in business. It cannot be confused with being ‘soft’, since it also entails a bit of ‘tough love’, delivering hard but fair messages and setting ambitious targets, yet doing this with the larger interest of the individuals in mind so that they can achieve heroic things. This is because when a team wins, it is they who should receive the accolades, yet when they do not achieve, it is the leader who takes responsibility.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
At one point in my career, a large proportion of our sales were brought to a standstill due to a boycott. I received a call from the chairman of the business to say that the company always takes a principled stand based on our values, and that they will support me whatever action I choose to take. The trust and support shown to me was so empowering at a time of such adversity and, without it, I may not have been able to turn around the situation. This trust and support is something I try to replicate for all the markets in which we operate.

Nitin Gupta

Director of Growth and Transformation, Tata Consultancy Services

Nitin is the Director of Growth and Transformation at Tata Consultancy Services. With over 20 years of industry experience and having worked across the globe in relationship management, strategy and consulting, he now works with customers to drive their transformation agenda, focussing on incorporating growth and value to both the business and the UK community. As an inspirational and empathetic leader, he is a mentor for many colleagues. He also spearheads and champions diversity, inclusion and equality forums, ensuring every colleague is treated with respect.
“Nitin is approachable and is always ready to help anyone with his experience and advice. He has an open-door policy that his management team also follows. Advocating an inclusive culture, Nitin chairs various forums and initiatives where team members are empowered to voice their opinion or ideas; every voice is heard and recorded. He promotes a learning culture, creating a high-performance team for our customers.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
In today’s hyperconnected world, simple acts of kindness have a far-reaching impact, improving the quality of one's life and the community. Leading with kindness creates a more inclusive and productive workforce with a better sense of belonging and purpose-driven commitment – a kind leader not only enables the team’s success and wellbeing but it is important for the leader on an individual level as well.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness strengthens relationships and businesses thrive on relationships. Simple acts of kindness can motivate both colleagues and customers alike, leading to superior outcomes. The advancement of technology and digitalisation is transforming the way businesses are run and whilst they continue to evolve, kindness strengthens the very foundation of the humane aspect that enables business.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
One of the kindest leaders I know would come in early just to connect with the team before business started as usual. It was her time to engage and make the team feel valued – a small ‘well done’, or ‘how are you today?’, or even ‘is your mum feeling better?’ made a significant difference. With her leadership, the team went on to win several industry awards; her humility and kindness untiring.

Nirmala Rao OBE

Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women

Nirmala is a leader in the sphere of democracy and education, working to strengthen civil society and facilitate women’s rights through access to education. For several years she served as Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) before taking on the role of Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women (AUW). As a scholar of international repute, her priority has been to create strong, empowered women from underserved communities at AUW. Nirmala’s global connections have opened avenues of intellectual engagement in regions of the world that typically remain closed to most British academics.
“Nirmala’s transparency with her team has helped create a culture whereby her colleagues feel comfortable to raise difficult topics, knowing that Nirmala will listen and act accordingly, as she works to amplify the voices around her. Additionally, working to tackle challenges around equality and access to education requires a collaborative environment. At United World Schools, Nirmala has brokered new relationships with external stakeholders and through her display of kindness she has become a well respected Trustee to our Leadership team.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
We live in a world that is increasingly competitive resulting in a growing sense of alienation and disconnectedness among people. It is incumbent upon leaders to restore social connectivity and positivity through love, compassion and kindness. Today's world is also ridden with such intense conflict that the idea of war without end seems to have become accepted, even stabilised. Only a kind leader can spread the much needed warmth, safety, comfort, and a sense of wellbeing.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness empowers people to lead with purpose and clearly defined goals. Kind leadership is about understanding and respecting the feelings and values of people who work and contribute to the success of an organisation. A kind and humble leader builds teams based on trust, warmth and empathy, encouraging individuals to discover their full potential. Kind leadership creates a happier, more rewarding workforce that adds lasting value to business.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Being decisive, compassionate, transparent, and having the ability to carry people are some of the most important traits that make a successful leader. During my three decades of work at senior management levels in the higher education sector, I have faced several challenges associated with cuts in funding and streamlining activities that impacted on staff morale and motivation. Through communication with empathy, showing resilience, and listening with patience, I succeeded in restoring faith and trust among my colleagues.

Ngozi Lyn Cole

Co-founder and Director, GLT Partners Ltd

Ngozi is a coach and management catalyst. She is Director of GLT Partners Ltd, a support agency for charities, social enterprises and community businesses. She is a non-executive director of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Deputy Chair of the Appointments Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council. She spent 18 years at the National Lottery Community Fund, holding several roles including England Director, and has served as a volunteer and board member of several charities including the Angelou Centre. An advocate for racial equity, Ngozi is passionate about enabling people to achieve their potential.
“Ngozi embodies kindness in her leadership style and the organisations and sectors she has impacted. While she was at the National Lottery Community Fund, she led the development of grantmaking with an emphasis on putting people in the lead. This strategy has transformed the fund to be more human, connected, proportionate and customer-focused. Ngozi believes strongly in unleashing the potential of people, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. She is currently the board champion for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, supporting the development of its first EDI strategy.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
One key role of a leader is to draw out the passion within people to fulfil their potential. Kind leaders create an environment where people can thrive, be their true and authentic selves and feel that their contribution is valued. This helps to maximise their performance and helps the organisation to succeed. Kindness is especially important during the challenging times we live in, with people dealing with heightened levels of anxiety and needing to feel trusted, valued and connected.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Inspirational leaders understand that kindness brings out the best in us all. Like plants need soil and water to thrive, a little kindness helps people to feel more motivated to do well and to go the extra mile. A culture of kindness and inclusivity contributes to superior business performance, partly because it fosters innovation that is often based on learning from failure. A culture of fear and blame does the total opposite because people are terrified of getting things wrong!
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
One of my favourite quotes is by Maya Angelou, ‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’. Thinking about how people will feel as a result of any interaction helps you to offer little and often random acts of kindness that lead to an immediate or a long term impact for them personally and, in turn, your organisation.

Musidora Jorgensen

Area Vice President, Head of UK Energy & Utilities, Salesforce

Musidora is a Senior IT Executive with over 20 years of experience in IT services, software sales and sales leadership. She is currently Area Vice President and Head of UK Energy & Utilities at Salesforce. She excels at leading and developing high-performing teams, cultivating executive-level strategic relationships and growing market share. Musidora is a champion and an ally for diversity and inclusion, and she spends as much time as she can coaching and mentoring underrepresented women within the STEM industries.
“Musidora is a rarity. We are all too used to success being measured by numbers and achieving that number, no matter the cost. Musidora is the first leader in my career to blaze a trail and show that by putting people first the numbers will follow. She is tenacious in her goal to make all those around her successful. Using her phenomenal emotional intelligence she focuses on the individual and their needs, taking the time to truly understand them and empowering them to reach their goals. The results are speaking for themselves, not only in the numbers, but from the extraordinary loyalty shown by her team and colleagues.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Psychological safety is at the core of who we are as human beings; it drives a lot of our decision-making. As individuals, we know that to progress we must move out of our comfort zones. As leaders, building an environment with kindness, empathy and understanding as a solid foundation provides the safety net to allow people to take risks and learn from the outcomes. This learning is key to unlocking potential and developing better outcomes across the world.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Business is now so sophisticated and complex due to its constant state of flux. No one person can understand the interconnected nature of businesses and the environment they operate in; tackling this issue needs to be achieved through diversity of thought. To achieve this, people need to feel safe that they can deliver contrary opinions and I truly believe that kindness and trust are key to providing this environment of psychological safety.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Dame Stephanie Shirley is an inspiring role model for leading with kindness. Not only is she the original trailblazer in setting up the first software company, but she also empowered a generation of women in technology by allowing them to choose when and where they work. She is now making an enormous impact in the world by leading with kindness as a philanthropist.

Monica Risam

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Lombard International

Monica joined Lombard International with a mandate to bring a commercial and decisive approach to the European legal, compliance, regulatory affairs and corporate secretarial team before moving to the Global General Counsel role the following year. Her ability to steer the corporate vision whilst bringing people along on the journey is truly inspiring. Monica launched the Women in Business Group at Lombard International with a mission to help champion, develop and support talented women, developing and encouraging networking between all colleagues across the organisation.
“Monica embodies kindness through the positive impact she has on the growth and personal development of others – whether individuals, teams, within an organisation or more widely. She is a long-standing advocate of coaching and mentoring and is able to identify talent in the corners of a business that often go unnoticed. Monica leads by example – her door is always open, she is unfailingly generous with her time and she actively celebrates individual achievement and encourages others to do the same.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
We are going through a period of global uncertainty on numerous fronts and, during times of uncertainty, people look to their leaders for guidance and support. I believe it is incumbent upon us now, more than ever, to be authentic, transparent, warm and caring and to reach out and understand the challenges people are facing at work and at home as we continue to live through the current crisis.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness in the workplace leads to happier people in the workplace. Happier people feel empowered and are more productive. This is borne out through numerous studies. I have always maintained that when you spend 80–90% of your day at work, you want to work with good people in an environment where you feel respected, valued and can grow. I believe kindness is key to fostering this environment. Kindness begets kindness.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Kindness can help drive closer relationships with people. In the workplace, this often manifests for me through coaching and mentoring people and I am privileged to maintain many of those relationships to this day. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing former colleagues grow into different and often more senior roles in other organisations and for me to still be a person they can count on in their ‘personal board of directors’.

Michael Norton

Director, Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA)

Michael is the Founder of CIVA, an innovations centre founded in 1995 to develop, pilot and fund new ideas for addressing social problems. In 1966, he set up the country’s first language teaching programme for non-English speaking immigrants in London. He founded the Directory of Social Change in 1975; Changemakers in 1994, and YouthBank UK in 1998. He is also the Co-Founder of UnLtd, an organisation that awards up to £15,000 to individuals in the UK who wish to create change in their communities. Michael received an OBE in 1998 for services to the voluntary sector.
“Michael has committed the past 50 years of his life to helping those in need. Through a wide range of programmes that he has both founded and funded, he has been a relentless advocate to support the socially and economically marginalised and disenfranchised. When he sees an injustice or problem for others, he works tirelessly to set up a systematic and sustainable solution. Michael works selflessly and collaboratively to create organisations that can support those in need – today and into the future. He strives to empower everyone around him and acts as a mentor and facilitator – pushing them to be and achieve all that they want and can.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
There is so much nastiness, division and intolerance in today's world, especially with the Labour Party at war over antisemitism and Trump's stirring-up of racial divisions. If this has become the new norm, we need to show that there is an alternative, to be kind and understanding to others, whilst at the same time standing up for the humane values that underpin our society and the way that we want to run our lives.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Social responsibility and environmental responsibility both promote social good but are also an essential for the long-term future and profitability of a business. In a similar way, an unkind or nasty approach to business, customers and suppliers cannot be conducive to long-term business success. Kindness should be a part of corporate culture and how we manage our businesses.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I would like to highlight the work of the Timpson Group that operates chains of high street shops, whilst at the same time training prisoners before their release and giving them jobs. Ten percent of their workforce is recruited this way, with no stigma attached to past history – this is an act of social responsibility as well as kindness, which also makes sound business sense.

Martin Lupton

Vice Dean for Education, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Martin is Vice Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, leading the Faculty’s undergraduate and postgraduate education activity. He also works as a consultant obstetrician at Chelsea and Westminster Foundation NHS Trust. Martin has previously served as Obstetrics and Gynaecology Speciality Lead and Director of Clinical Studies at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, before working in partnership with Imperial as Head of MBBS Year 5, then as one of three Deputy Directors of Education. In 2014, he became the Head of Undergraduate Medicine and, in 2019, Vice Dean.
“Martin demonstrates on a daily basis how being an ethical, considerate and above all kind leader is an enormous strength and not remotely a weakness. This is unusual in a male-dominated field. In addition to exemplary interpersonal skills, he is a highly skilled orator and writer, often having to communicate with 1000s at one time. He manages to reach every part of the audience on a personal level, often with an excellent story. Martin knows all the theory but, most importantly, conducts his working life with the utmost professionalism – he ‘walks the talk’ on a daily basis and people see that.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness is an old word. It is derived from Middle English meaning ‘courtesy’. Most people’s natural predisposition is to do their best. In turn they expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. There is good evidence that being happy and having a sense of belonging increases people's capacity to learn, to be productive and to feel proud of what they do. Kindness and courtesy are key components of making the workplace a healthy and happy community.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Most business is based on relationships. Relationships work if they are based on mutual respect and understanding. Kindness is all about understanding the other and acting in a positive way in response to that understanding. If you understand the needs of your workforce, and can respond in a meaningful and positive way, they will recognise this and you will benefit. Kindness makes life easier, happier and much more productive. It is also a key ingredient of loyalty.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
The response of many leaders to COVID-19 has been an example of the impact of kindness. On the radio and TV we have seen leaders who care for their workforce and who have acted with kindness, putting the needs of their staff first. Usually the staff have responded with a willingness to accept new rules, pay reductions and different ways of working. Those organisations that have not appeared to be kind have suffered from deteriorating industrial relations and market reputation.

Maeve Jackson

Principal & Management Consultant, Audela Intelligence

Maeve is Principal & Management Consultant at Audela Intelligence, a management consulting boutique designed to help law firms articulate and implement growth strategy, develop competitive advantage and boost market share. After working in senior roles across both the service and professional services sectors, Maeve brings her commercial experience and legal sector skills to law firm management clients. Having run numerous large teams, Maeve has a conviction that teams that are well led are best placed to maximise advantage in a competitive environment.
“Kindness has various guises – with Maeve, it’s tough love. Telling it as it is, but always with sweetness. You know she wants the best for you. She chides. Makes you smile. She’s that older sister, aunt, mum and best friend all rolled into one. If kindness is an attribute given freely, happily and with no desire for return, reward or in anticipation of gratitude or ownership in the outcome, then Maeve ticks all of the boxes.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
2020 is a tough year to be in business. Lots of change – dispersed working and way too much screen time. Inevitably with change comes anxiety. So, I think 'grace under pressure' is essential. Shouting or bad temper takes you backwards. Also, checking-in to ensure people know they are seen and heard, supported and truly valued (especially on the bad days) keeps morale high and the business wheels turning. 'Hi, how are you?' and 'thank you' go a long way.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
I believe that good teams are a superpower and I am only ever as good as my team. Consequently, my focus is to enable and encourage teams to be as capable, skilful, confident and independent as possible and to applaud that success loudly and often.

Empowered teams are motivated to achieve, care about what they do and each other, and they are able to collaborate and innovate. They also frequently surpass wildest expectations. It's joyous to witness and it's infectious behaviour. A business no-brainer.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I am a proud mentor for the Social Mobility Business Partnership. I provide help and encouragement to young people from less privileged backgrounds who are applying to university or taking their first step on the career ladder. As the first person in my family to go to university, this is a really personal endeavour for me and being able to provide support and share my experience with these young leaders of the future is a privilege.

Lee Thompson

Head of International Communications & Strategic Partnerships, CNBC

Lee is an inspirational leader to his teams in London and Singapore, heading up all aspects of marketing and communications for the world’s number one business and financial news network. He goes above and beyond to support his colleagues whilst leading the network’s strategic initiatives and ambitious growth agenda in emerging markets. Lee leads with openness and transparency and is responsible for CNBC’s portfolio of strategic partnerships with the likes of the World Economic Forum and McLaren.
“Lee has positively impacted the culture at CNBC by empowering his team and the whole organisation, fostering a kind and encouraging environment for success. His principles as a supportive, ambitious and transparent leader reinforce his collaborative and problem-solving approach. As part of the leadership team he is always looking for cross-collaboration between teams and helps guide decisions at every level. Lee ensures there is opportunity available to his team for personal growth as well as to reach the company objectives.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Today many of us focus on the deadlines we need to meet, the targets we must hit or the project that has to be completed before the end of the day. It’s easy to forget that sometimes we’re all human! Kindness allows us to create deep and meaningful connections with the people around us. It allows us to show compassion and gratitude – two things it’s easy to forget in a world where everyone is moving at 100mph!
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
2020 has changed the way we live our lives, particularly the way we work. We’re all now working from our bedrooms, our sofas or the kitchen table. Not only that, for many of us, we now find ourselves on back-to-back video calls with limited social interaction. We’re all experiencing stress and anxiety in a way that we never have before. Now, more than ever, it's so important to be kind to the people who surround you, both at work and at home.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Two years ago, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer – a horrible disease that affects many men not only in the UK, but around the world. When I found out about the diagnosis, I was at work and leading a big project that was nearing completion. When I got the news, my CEO at the time, turned to me and said ‘Go! Family always comes first!’ The ability to see beyond the work and to have the compassion and understanding was so important and a lesson I’ll take forward with my teams in the future.

Lee Sharp

Police Officer - Community Engagement Team, Metropolitan Police

Lee is unswervingly focused on supporting colleagues and community. He set up the MigrantCommunities Forum, inviting staff from the UK Forces, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and the National Crime Agency to meet and share best practice so as to work to support visible and invisible ethnic minority groups living and working across the UK. Lee is also a champion for the LGBTQ community. No matter what challenges he faces, Lee makes time to nurture and support colleagues daily.
“The significance of the positive impact Lee has had is hard to truly articulate, but without his passion, commitment and drive this would certainly not have happened. I can say that in my 28 years of police service, the period I spent working with Lee and the people, agencies and communities he directly introduced me to was the most fulfilling and productive period within my police career as we collectively made a positive difference to the lives of hundreds if not thousands of some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Life is full of challenges that impact us all in both our private and working lives, even more so this year with the global pandemic. We will all be worrying about family, friends and our futures, so kindness is an essential part of managing. A leader will be looked to for guidance and support, so that one person's kindness is essential and can influence the wider audience who then continue to have a positive influence on others.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
A happy and positive work space is essential to get the best out of people, and it makes working an enjoyable experience. My team works so hard under very difficult circumstances on any normal day. 2020 has been incredibly challenging, but the positive and supportive atmosphere I have created with my team influences them, so coming to work is a positive experience. The result is the team continues to work above and beyond my expectations.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
One team member was diagnosed with a significant medical condition, reducing an active member of the team to someone struggling to cope with life. I regularly visited them at home, motivating and developing them towards a role to match their skills and abilities; continuing to make them a valued and productive part of the team. They are now coordinating an important national project which has increased their confidence and they are feeling positive about the future, despite their life-changing illness.

Justin Placide

Assistant Director for Business, Investment and Growth, Business Investment Directorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK Government

Justin is an Assistant Director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where he shapes the UK Government’s approach to attract, grow and retain investment to help improve the UK’s economy. A civil servant since 2009, Justin has held roles supporting ministers, developing policy on energy intensive industries and identifying opportunities to support struggling businesses. He Co-Chairs the Civil Service Race Forum, a group of 46 government race networks to tackle racism and increase opportunities for BAME staff across the Civil Service.
“Justin is the epitome of an empathetic leader. Despite being Assistant Director, and co-chairing his departmental and Civil Service-wide race networks, he always makes time for people. He is the first to provide encouragement, volunteer to review job applications, and checks in on colleagues’ wellbeing in every meeting. He regularly mentors and coaches and his patience, compassion and robust advice has helped many BAME civil servants achieve promotion. His ability to build rapport with senior leaders enabled him to secure buy-in for his department’s first Race Action Plan, which made the department more inclusive for ethnic minorities.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Today's world is changing due to the pandemic. What was normal is now the new not-so-normal. We have a hybrid style of living and working, we engage/interact differently with our friends and work colleagues due to social distancing. Now is the time to increase our compassion and kindness in leadership. Now is the time to demonstrate emotional intelligence/cultural intelligence to our colleagues; to provide encouragement, strengthen their mental wellbeing and help them bring their best selves to work.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness makes business sense because it is about valuing what's going on with the people you work with and the people you lead. It’s about understanding the personalities of your colleagues and creating a team culture that is flexible and compassionate towards one another. We should be encouraging individuals to be themselves at work. In my opinion, leaders should be setting an example of self-care and vulnerability, so that team members can see and learn from their practice and demonstration.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I demonstrate kindness and encourage it as a future cultural change. The world around us is stressful and we are all looking for ways to cope. In today's not-so-normal, there are days that we feel tired and unmotivated. Being kind to others stimulates serotonin and oxytocin hormones associated with happiness. If a colleague is under pressure or going through a stressful period, offer to help ease their workload, take care of an errand, or bring them lunch as a surprise.

Julie Brown

Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Burberry

Julie is COO and CFO of Burberry and the Audit Chair of Roche. Prior to joining Burberry in 2017, she was Group CFO at Smith & Nephew, leading a business-wide group optimisation programme and finance transformation. She also spent 25 years with AstraZeneca, holding 11 different roles in four countries and three continents. Julie is Patron of Oxford Women in Business and sits on the Business Advisory Board to the Mayor of London. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
“Julie embodies kindness by the way in which she engages with people and communicates, inspiring employees across the organisation. She makes time for causes she cares about, in particular supporting young talent, empowering women and giving back to the community. She is actively involved with the Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women Group and Burberry’s International Women’s Week celebrations and Patron of the Oxford Women in Business Society. Julie is an example of how you can be successful whilst still being kind and caring.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness is an essential element in building relationships and leading teams in today's world. Especially in challenging times, kindness is crucial to ensuring people are led with empathy and compassion. If you care for people and appreciate their situation, it enables more fulfilling relationships based on mutual trust. I've always believed in the saying ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness makes sense in business as business is all about building relationships and working with people to achieve greatness through a common goal. When you appreciate the needs of others and, importantly, recognise and act on those needs, you foster kindness as part of the culture in which you work.

Kindness is probably the most impactful attribute of a human being – it fosters collaboration, motivation and inclusivity, and it’s what makes you memorable as a leader.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I could refer to many people, but I’m going to select my mother. She was always putting others before herself and she was the person I relied on the most after my father died at a young age. She supported our family, friends and the community by raising funds and supporting people when they needed help the most. She taught me a great deal about giving to others and that it is often the source of greatest happiness to me.

Joseph Casey

Director of Partnerships and Programmes, King's Health Partners

As Director of Partnerships and Programmes at King’s Health Partners, a renowned academic health sciences centre, Joseph supports healthcare transformation locally, nationally and internationally to put outcomes that matter to patients at the centre, ensure equity, and address sustainability challenges in healthcare. He collaborates with colleagues across Europe on major research initiatives. During the pandemic, Joseph led the implementation of Life Lines – a partnership including King’s Health Partners, Google, BT, Gatsby Foundation and True Colours Trust, allowing families to virtually connect with loved ones treated for COVID-19 in over 150 hospitals.
“Joseph is an exceptional leader, able to build good relationships with people from diverse organisations, backgrounds and levels. He connects with clinicians, academics, policy makers and multiple sectors by finding a shared purpose and helping others to succeed. The cognitive diversity and psychological safety he created in the team reinforces collaborative behaviour and creativity, boosting performance. He has a can-do attitude that instills hope, is compassionate, knowledgeable, humble and treats every single person from business support staff to chief executive with equal respect.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Success – in any walk of life – happens because of people coming together, sharing experience and expertise, listening to and learning from one another, and working together as a team. King's Health Partners recently hosted Professor Michael West, who has demonstrated that compassionate leadership is central to delivering compassionate health and care services. The role of a leader is to support and enable a team – through 'listening with fascination', understanding, empathising, helping to remove obstacles and finding resources.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Recently, I worked with a rapidly created team of people from different sectors – clinical, academic, industry, philanthropy – to respond to COVID-19. Through Life Lines, our sole focus was to help as many families as possible to connect with their loved ones in intensive care units across the UK. In less than a month, we supported more than 150 NHS organisations to implement virtual visiting. By focussing on people and what matters to them, you can achieve amazing things.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Over the last few years, I have been privileged to work with Professor John Moxham, whose commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the community he has lived in and served for nearly 40 years is inspirational. A world-leading clinician and academic, John has always given his time and listened to anyone who asks, irrespective of position or background. Through this approach, John has built teams and coalitions who together have had a major, lasting impact on public health.

Jon Findlay

Chief Operating Officer, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Jon is COO of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT). Previously, Jon was COO and Deputy Chief Executive at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He has many years of experience working in director-level roles spanning clinical operations, service modernisation, performance improvement, human resources and workforce planning. Jon actively supports the diversity and inclusion initiative at GSTT and is a committed reverse mentee.
“Jon is a compassionate leader who listens empathetically with his full attention to people with different perspectives from various parts of the system. Despite the complex healthcare system in which he works, he is able to build great relationships and find a way forward that works best for the collective good, while being sensitive and supportive to individual challenges. During the pandemic, he has worked tirelessly to support clinical staff and navigate bureaucracy, including proactively helping to send planes to China so as to ensure clinical staff have adequate PPE.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Leading a high-profile health trust through this pandemic has shown that being kind is more important than ever. Our colleagues and patients are people first, and they’re facing tremendous pressures in and out of work. People are scared for themselves and their families, so everyday kindness can make a real difference to a person’s wellbeing.

Kindness from the top inspires everyone to look out for one another and ensures we can be the best version of ourselves.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
We need to do what we can to protect the mental wellbeing of our workforce so they can offer the best possible care for our patients.

Making sure colleagues feel valued and listened to costs nothing but can create a happier working environment for others. Managers should foster a culture of talking about feelings and emotions to enable this. We should lead by example and treat others as they wish to be treated.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
My first manager took a risk with me, and followed that with numerous acts of kindness, empathy and support. This enabled me to grow and develop my career in the NHS, which is an environment full of committed and inspirational individuals.

I often reflect on those kindnesses shown to me early in my career, and that experience has really shaped my own ethos of supporting and influencing colleagues’ development so that they can be the very best version of themselves.

Jo Dibb

Executive Headteacher, Islington Futures Federation

Jo has been a National Leader of Education since 2011. She was appointed Headteacher of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2005 and, since 2018, she has led Islington Futures, a federation of four schools established on the belief that schools are stronger when working together and can drive change and improve life chances for more young people. Jo has been hugely influential in the educational sector, moving the likes of Michelle Obama to action. With more than 40 years of experience in education, Jo’s mantra – be kind, be brave and be yourself – filters through all the institutions she leads.
“Jo’s leadership style clearly demonstrates kindness in action. As Headteacher of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School (EGA), she demonstrates this on a daily basis, ensuring students (girls from mainly disadvantaged backgrounds) have a first class education. She is a strong advocate for ensuring that other schools in the community offer the same values and opportunities as EGA and, to this end, the Islington Futures Federation was created. Jo’s strength as a leader has a solid foundation in being kind, giving back and helping those around her.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
A kind word or a thoughtful gesture at the right time has the power to change the way in which people feel, think and behave. A small act of kindness can have a profound impact, sending ripples through the heart of an organisation so that colleagues feel engaged and empowered and spread kindness within their own teams.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Where leaders model kindness and compassion, everyone feels valued and supported, colleagues care for each other and together they build a much stronger business community, a community where we see and celebrate the best in each other. Kindness is investing in people, our most precious resource.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
In a busy world, it is all too tempting to ignore the signs that someone needs a listening ear, a kind word. Working with young people, there are many occasions when sitting and listening, meeting anger and aggression with kindness and calm has been part of transforming lives. Building an institution which values kindness means that colleagues are able to support our most vulnerable when they need it most.

Javid Rana

Detective Sergeant, Metropolitan Police

The Association of Muslim Police (AMP) started in 1999 and is recognised as one of the largest staff support associations in England and Wales with over 800 members, consisting of both police officers and staff. As Chair of the organisation, Javid has helped Muslim colleagues observe their faith and promote understanding of Islam within the Met and the wider community. He has played an instrumental role in the provision of facilities for Muslim colleagues, including the introduction of the hijab for female officers and the ability to wear Islamic or cultural dress when not in uniform.
“Javid has helped Muslims in the Police Service observe their faith and promote understanding of Islam within the Police Service and the wider community. He has provided a forum for Muslims in the Police and supports their religious and welfare needs by improving their immediate working environment and keeping them in the service. Javid has also supported the recruitment and retention of Muslim and BME officers and staff and helped to create a fair and just working environment for all cultural minorities.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
As a leader, one is a role model, and it is absolutely vital to demonstrate kindness in today’s world as it empowers and encourages others to support you and colleagues, sets an example for others to follow, creates a positive working environment, and develops a culture of inclusivity. This will invariably lead to an increase in harmony, an increase in productivity, and your business will be seen as an employer of choice.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
The core values of any business must be underpinned by kindness, and such values are highly likely to promote your business and increase trust and confidence in the services you provide. Demonstrating kindness internally and externally will, by default, raise your business profile, and this is the key to success. In my area of business (policing) it is paramount that Police Officers are seen to be approachable, are compassionate, have integrity, and these are all forms of kindness.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I recall an instance when a female colleague approached me and reported that she and several colleagues were being treated unfairly, and previous reports were ignored by others. I made time to meet the group, listened attentively, and assured them that I would take ownership. This made them feel valued and I dealt with concerns in a compassionate way, without compromising them. I demonstrated a high level of integrity and courage, and all colleagues involved now produce excellent work.

James Morris

Managing Director, International Corporate Banking, Barclays Bank

James joined Barclays 21 years ago as part of the graduate scheme and is now a Managing Director within International Corporate Banking. Prior roles have included Head of Insurance, UK and Head of Asia subsidiary banking. James has consistently been recognised as an industry expert and thought leader, he has significant international leadership experience and has demonstrated a keen cultural awareness, having worked for years developing coverage of Asian clients and, more recently, has driven closer connectivity across the UK and Europe. James has a lead role in Barclays Corporate Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme, dedicated to improving awareness and support for colleagues globally.
“The insurance industry has historically been male-dominated and lacking diversity. James has led by example and transformed the gender and race diversity in his team; created a supportive and inclusive environment and improved colleague engagement and performance. James has set up and led an initiative within the Corporate Bank to raise awareness of mental health issues and tackle the stigma across the firm. The initiative has to date delivered training and communication sessions that have engaged with over 700 colleagues internationally.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Today's world continues to get more demanding in terms of the issues we face and tasks that need completing to keep up. Leaders therefore need to ensure that they build strong relationships across their teams. Kindness allows leaders to demonstrate that they really care and will make time no matter the situation.

Leaders are measured in many ways but acts of kindness are invaluable; they are remembered for a long time, build energy and help to create a supportive environment for success.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Businesses, in my experience, thrive when a strong culture is present. This takes time to develop and is often centred around shared values that create loyalty and goodwill.

Kindness brings human interaction between people and encourages relationships to prosper. This type of environment leads to high performance and therefore makes good business sense. Team members will go the extra mile when they feel they are giving back in return for the kindness they've been shown.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Taking time to listen, provide empathy and act, has been very impactful in respect to my involvement with the mental health and wellbeing agenda. As an ambassador for this initiative, I've found it very rewarding to give back and to drive change, both at Barclays and in my work supporting customers.

I've been very fortunate to have been surrounded by like-minded people/senior sponsors. Seeing perceptions change and the bank culture evolve has been highly satisfying.

Hannah Parker

Head of Biology, Ursuline High School Wimbledon

After studying psychology at the University of Reading, Hannah went on to qualify as a biology teacher in 2013, teaching for five years before joining the Ursuline High School in Wimbledon in 2019. This year she took on the role of Head of Biology. Hannah is an inspiring and kind role model and a devoted teacher. Her vision is that each student should feel that they are believed in, cared for and listened to in order to reach their full potential.
“Hannah is one of our youngest heads of department. She shows drive and ambition and wants every student to reach her potential. In leading our biology department she has shown great kindness in giving extra time to students who are below their target grade, resulting in one student going from from an E to an A*. Similarly in a pastoral context she has been phenomenal, especially in lockdown, choosing to support the key workers’ children, and extending her tutor time each day so that the mental health of her tutees could be properly supported.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
People always remember how you make them feel, not necessarily the words you say. In showing kindness, a leader creates positive relationships by demonstrating that they care, which creates a supportive working environment in which people can develop. Leaders set standards and should model positive behaviours. Now, more than ever, in a world where we can be anything, we should be kind, and leaders in whatever capacity have the ability to influence this.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness is embedded in our school's motto, Serviam, meaning to develop our gifts and talents for the good of others. By being consistently kind, we are demonstrating our values for one another, and someone who feels valued will always do more, feel more appreciated and be more inspired to progress. Modelling kindness shows how our attitudes are incredibly important; success is more than just academic ability – it’s how you use it that matters.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Small acts of kindness over a period of time have a significant impact on the lives of students and staff. Raising money for charity in bake sales, collecting students' broken laptops, organising virtual 'thank you' notes for teachers, and giving sixth form students 1:1 tutorials outside of lessons are just a few examples. Collectively they demonstrate the importance of helping others, and in feeling supported and valued – creating a positive environment with kindness has a significant and long-lasting impact for all.

Gabrielle Ludzker

Chief Executive Officer, RAPP UK

Currently overseeing the merger of two agencies, RAPP and Proximity, Gabby is well known for her personable and authentic approach to leadership across the advertising industry. Having held the position of CEO at Proximity for the last four years, she has not only led the business to an unrivalled creative reputation but has also helped claim the accolade of Campaign’s Best Places to Work for the last three years. Now, as she finds herself at the helm of both agencies, with over 500 talented and passionate individuals, she’s focused on creating award-winning communications for some of the country’s most well loved brands.
“Gabby prides herself on having a mothering instinct and showing emotion, as well as being ruthlessly focused on the wellbeing of her staff. As a mum of two young girls, she understands the importance of the work/life balance and even before COVID-19, Gabby encouraged working from home. Gabby has long been an advocate of her people working from where they work best, dependent on their own personal circumstances. She leads with empathy and will always look for the best in the person or a situation; is collaborative in her approach to work and, above all, empowers people to bring their whole selves to work and speak up for what they believe in.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
The world has changed. There is no work-life balance anymore. It’s just life! And COVID-19 has accelerated this, bringing work literally into our homes and families. So a leader without kindness, without empathy for the whole person they manage, is no longer a relevant leader. Kindness is not only the basis on which our culture should be founded, but the cornerstone on which any organisation should be built.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
We’d be nothing without our people. And when they are motivated and happy and absolutely united to deliver on our collective vision, they make magic. This cannot be achieved without a deep, deep care for every single person who works for you – that’s literally what ‘duty of care’ should mean. Kindness drives loyalty, which is in turn felt by our clients, it motivates us to do great work, which in turn drives profit. It’s fundamental.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Since lockdown, we have focussed on every single individual, making sure that everyone is healthy, both physically and mentally. And small acts of kindness seem to add up, mostly because they make an instant impact. Examples include giving someone every Friday off to spend more time with their baby; sending presents to people’s homes for going above and beyond; banning lunchtime meetings so people can eat with their families, and just knowing you are cared for and cherished in these isolated times.

Dr Dimitri Amiras

Consultant Radiologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Dimitri is a radiology consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and an honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London, where he studied medicine. His previous leadership roles include Head of Musculoskeletal Radiology and Clinical Lead for imaging IT, where he facilitated the use of virtual desktop infrastructure for teleradiology, enabling his department to continue to provide services during the recent Coronavirus lockdown. An innovator in his field, Dimitri is the senior author on a recent paper focusing on augmented reality in reconstructive surgery. He has just begun training as a human factors trainer as part of a trust wide transformation programme’ .
“Dr Amiras is a kind and generous leader, who goes beyond the call of duty to give his colleagues professional and pastoral support. He has supported and directed his team during some of the most challenging periods of their careers. He supported his team during the pandemic, listened to their concerns and worries, and showed courage when speaking to power. His kindness encourages all staff to undertake new tasks and contribute to the department to the best of their abilities; he is always open to suggestions during the departmental meetings and is always willing to support new initiatives.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
With the challenges currently facing us with the global pandemic, inequality and climate change, we have seen that working collaboratively and compassionately is for the benefit and survival of all. When we lead with kindness it is infectious, uniting and empowering those around us to work together and support each other positively. With the rapid changes we are all facing, kindness demonstrates how important we all are to each other and encourages hope, responsibility and respect over fear and anxiety.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
People are at the heart of every business. In healthcare we are starting to recognise the empowering effect of kindness on ourselves, our colleagues, and our patients. Kindness opens up communication, increases attention, reduces stress, reduces errors, and fosters the necessary environment for development, progress and excellence. Kindness encourages us to be the best we can be, and allows us to be vulnerable enough to develop and learn, empowering us to achieve greatness, improving both patient outcomes and patient safety.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Born in South Africa, I have been profoundly inspired by the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, despite suffering cruelly under Apartheid, led people to seek compassion rather than retribution, enabling the healing of wounds and uniting a proud rainbow nation. This demonstrated to me the immense strength and courage that kindness empowers in others, and exemplifies that kindness in leadership can change lives and save worlds, whilst leaving behind a powerful legacy to inspire future generations and their leaders.

Dr Amy Pollard FRSA

Founder and Director, Mental Health Collective

Amy founded the Mental Health Collective in 2018 to help people find new ways of coming together so they can be healthier, happier and better able to flourish. A social scientist and policy analyst, Amy has worked as an Advisor to the UK Government and was Chair of the Independent Mental Health Act Review on patient dignity. Amy has lived experience of mental health difficulties, including being detained under the Mental Health Act. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
“Amy is combining her significant academic and professional expertise with her experience of major episodes of mental ill-health to unlock innovation relating to the social dimensions of mental health. She is an inspiring, kind leader who believes that there is an untapped reservoir of knowledge, understanding and skills relating to the social and collective dimensions of mental health which need to be catalysed into a new set of approaches. She is thoughtfully bringing together skills from across the professions, experts by experience and broader society to spark new social and collective innovation, helping people to live happier, healthier lives.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
An act of kindness isn't a 'nice-to-have'. It's the most powerful tool we have to remind each other that we are all human; that hope is out there; and that we're not on our own in the world.

British society faces a Gordian knot of challenges, which get tighter and more complicated the more you pull at them. Leaders with kindness are uniquely equipped to loosen the strands, tease out the threads, and weave our social fabric anew.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness is very special in business terms. It's a resource that can be found everywhere, in infinite supply, because every human being on earth has the capacity to show another person kindness. However, this delicate energy requires distinctive methods of management.

Show me the leader who says kindness can be harnessed for exponential growth and I'll show you a fool. Show me the leader who demonstrates that kindness is the unfailing force for renewal and I'll show you a genius.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I'm bursting with pride about the impact of Mental Health Collective's #KindnessByPost initiative: the UK's leading random acts of kindness exchange. Thousands of ordinary people from across the UK now regularly send a card with a message of goodwill to a stranger, and have someone allocated to send a card to them. These small acts have been proven to make a significant difference to people's sense of loneliness, wellbeing, hope and belonging. Leading this movement has been a true joy.

Dimple Agarwal

Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner for People and Purpose Deloitte NSE, Deloitte

Dimple is the Deputy CEO for Deloitte UK and is the Managing Partner for People & Purpose for Deloitte North and South Europe (NSE). She advises clients on the future of work, responding to business opportunities and challenges resulting from the changing dynamics of society, organisation and talent. Dimple has over 20 years of international consulting experience, including operating model and organisation design, HR and talent strategies, merger integration and major transformation programmes. Dimple is passionate about the inclusion and equality agenda.
“Dimple embodies kindness through her purpose-led mindset. She is affecting real change, as evidenced by the firm’s decision-making and response to major events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd. Together with the firm’s multicultural network, Dimple has assembled an action committee resulting in publishing Deloitte’s Black Action Plan – five key commitments with meaningful and measurable actions to drive change.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness transcends all barriers and it is a universal language that we all understand, irrespective of our backgrounds. Putting kindness at the heart of leadership means creating meaningful connections with people, a safe environment for all to be creative, and it allows us to innovate and deliver successful outcomes. It builds a strong business that makes a substantial contribution to the economy and society.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
We make the greatest impact when our people use their skills and expertise to help others – clients, people and society. With a focus on skills, education and inclusion, we’re helping to tackle inequality across the UK. Our people are more engaged when we as a firm can provide opportunities for them to help others and to do something meaningful.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Leading a virtual team through a pandemic has required mindful and compassionate leadership to ensure a deeper understanding of the different challenges everyone is facing. I led Deloitte’s Wellbeing Movement offering daily support to help our people look after themselves, their families and each other. It is vital that we create a culture in which everyone can be themselves.

David Darke

Co-Founder and Technical Director, Atomic Smash

David co-founded Atomic Smash, a WordPress and WooCommerce website design and development studio in Bristol in 2010. Ten years on, and the team has grown from a single desk in a shared office space to 15 full-time employees. David strives for innovative ways to improve staff morale, with regular team building activities, incentives and encouragement for self-development. The evidence of this approach speaks for itself: in a decade there has been minimal staff turnover and Atomic Smash has been highly commended as Best Place to Work in Tech at the 2019 Sparkies Awards. David has ensured that his business is a diverse and inclusive place to work that attracts, develops and retains exceptional people.
“I’ve never seen anyone work harder than David to ensure that his workforce feels supported, enabled and empowered to perform to the best of their abilities. To reach out for advice on how to better improve and incentivise maternity packages, to hours deliberating the best working practices and ethos to develop a workplace that is not only diverse and inclusive, but welcoming, happy and an environment that puts everyone on a level playing field – David is a remarkable leader. His personal values shine through in everything he does.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness in leadership is always important, yet never more appreciated than during global events like a pandemic. A huge amount of change has happened very quickly, so being able to be compassionate about where, how and when people work reduces the strain and worry in an already very stressful situation.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Our staff turnaround is very low for an industry (digital design and development) where it's usually high. Giving staff the chance to evolve and grow into roles and increasing opportunities for learning and personal growth, results in far less likelihood of them leaving the team, which means reduced time and money spent on recruitment and the ability to invest in the team long term.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Having a listening ear and being able to be flexible for people's different situations is crucial. A number of our staff have had to adapt their working patterns to fit in with suddenly increased childcare needs. We can provide flexibility in hours, trust and focus on the quality of work long term, rather than worrying about the fact we can't see them clock in at 9 to 5 every day.

Cindy Rose OBE

President Microsoft Western Europe, Microsoft

Cindy was appointed President of Microsoft Western Europe in October this year. She is widely recognised as an industry thought leader. Throughout her career, she has been a committed advocate to improving diversity and inclusion within the tech industry and is regularly invited to participate in industry think tanks. She sits on the Government’s Digital Economy Council, established to bring the government and the tech community together, and she represents Microsoft worldwide at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, a leading international platform dedicated to highlighting global social and economic issues.
“Cindy is using her platform at Microsoft to drive positive change across the tech industry. She is heavily focused on improving diversity and runs several female-focused initiatives aimed at increasing interest in STEM and building essential digital skills across the next generation of young women, including DigiGirlz and Codess. She has also made a pledge to engage with this generation, making monthly visits to girls’ secondary schools across the country where she shares insights into the role of a successful female within the industry, hoping to inspire and motivate young women into STEM related subjects.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
COVID-19 has made leading with kindness more critical than ever. Everyone, no matter their experience level or personal situation, has had their lives upended. And the pandemic has revealed many social inequities, for people with disabilities or without access to reliable internet, for example, that may have gone unnoticed before people started working from home. As leaders, it is imperative that we are more attentive, more empathetic and more flexible. Our colleagues deserve it, and our organisations depend on it.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Fostering a work environment where people feel valued and respected clearly makes it easier to retain great talent. That means supporting colleagues as they seek out new opportunities within the organisation; that means helping team members build new skills; that means increasing the diversity of the team. All of which, ideally, leads to the team doing their best work, to more innovation and, eventually, to achieving business success.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Many colleagues throughout my career have inspired me with their own brand of kind leadership – which invariably led to better outcomes. At Microsoft, it starts with our CEO, Satya Nadella. He's set a great example for how to lead with empathy, which formed the foundation of the company’s cultural renewal. Perhaps most importantly, he's empowered other leaders and, in fact, every individual in the company, to close the gap between the culture to which we aspire and our lived experience.

Chantal Epp

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ClicknClear

Chantal is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of ClicknClear. She set up her first company Synergy Sounds, a music production company for Cheerleading, whilst at University. Following her time working in sync licensing, Chantal found herself in a unique position to merge her two passions, Cheerleading and Music, after a lawsuit between Sony Music and Cheerleading happened. This led to the creation of ClicknClear, to solve a global music licensing problem in performance sports worth $2.4Bn annually. Chantal is still an active athlete and advocate for ParaCheer (disability inclusive Cheerleading) and is often found travelling around the world helping National Federations start teams as well as building ClicknClear into a global solution across multiple sports.
“Chantal is a woman of action who leads by example and gets involved in issues on every possible level to make things better for others. Her character is founded on energy, determination, compassion, collaboration and, underpinning everything, a fundamental desire to put right every injustice she sees. ClicknClear is moulded in her image: conceptually, its raison-d’etre makes a huge difference to both music and sports. Practically, it goes about its business in the ‘right’ way. Culturally, it espouses trust, responsibility and support… all of which has led to uniquely rapid progress with customers.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
We are living in very uncertain times with a lot of hate and negativity. We need to be inclusive of all, listen to each other and have open and honest conversations about how to be and do better in order to improve our society. Kind leaders help inspire others to be more open-minded and challenge themselves, helping them grow and achieve their own ambitions.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Leading with kindness has helped me build a strong team bond and company culture. By empowering my team and having open and honest conversations, we are achieving more and creating better solutions to problems we face.

When people enjoy what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. They are more motivated to go above and beyond to achieve the company’s goals because those goals have become part of their own.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
I strongly believe in treating others better than you would treat yourself. Both of my developers work just as long as I do and rarely take any holiday, so against the company’s interest, I insisted that they each take time off to rest and recuperate. As a result, their motivation has greatly increased and they know they work with a company that cares.

Augusta Vivian

Chief Executive Officer, Higson

Two years ago, Augusta set up Higson, a consultancy firm designed to transform businesses through business development strategy and team training. In this short time, Augusta has created a culture that has led to significant growth for the business, team and clients; a culture in which empathy, vulnerability and collaboration are key. She has also advised clients on reforming their cultures so as to be more inclusive, supportive and caring, advice that has reaped results.
“Augusta laces kindness into all aspects of her work which has impacted her team’s wellbeing and creates a collaborative culture that can support wide-reaching and impactful work adding huge value to clients and the community. Since the business began, she has donated a day a month to charitable projects. She has on boarded three staff to a high skill and confidence level, quickly and compassionately. She has sought regular feedback and actively implemented it with huge benefits to Higson. She has been part of transforming the cultures of nine organisations by creating industry leading workshops, designed around tools to change behaviour.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kind leaders have more productive, creative and happier teams who achieve more. Now, more than ever, we need to be kind, not just to our people but also to our planet. There is so much uncertainty in today's world, caring about our people is critical to their success and happiness. Kind leaders demonstrate empathy, respect and show that they genuinely care. Kindness used to be seen as a ‘weakness’ – now the world is realising that it is a strength.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Being kind makes you happier and makes your team happier. A happier team is three times more creative, 31% more productive, ten times more engaged and makes fewer mistakes. Being kind also builds trust and, as Google found, teams thrive and do their best work when they have trust in their leader. Being kind makes business sense as it helps us get more from our team and everyone has more fun.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
A great example is Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister – not only is she seen as a strong leader but she is also seen as a kind leader. In fact she is showing that being a kind leader helps to drive change and deal with a crisis. She approaches every situation with empathy, kindness and a genuine desire to help and make New Zealand a better and more inclusive place for everyone.

Anna Anderson

Founder and Director, Kindred

Anna is the Founder of Kindred, a members’ space reigniting a sense of community and connection in West London. Having previously worked as a social worker in South East London, Anna saw first-hand how loneliness can splinter communities and decided to do something about it within her neighbourhood. Kindred was born out of her desire to provide an inclusive members’ space where people from all walks of life can meet in both social and professional capacities and create meaningful, in-person connections in an increasingly online world.
“Anna’s leadership style is best described as calm, compassionate and considered. Kindred was founded at the end of 2018 and as we were finding our flow as a hospitality business, the pandemic hit. During the months of lockdown, Anna communicated openly and honestly with the team, allowed for regular check-ins, and ensured staff and members’ mental health was a number one priority. She has shown great capacity to steer her ship in uncertain times, and it’s always done with clarity and grace.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
We’re facing an impending climate crisis and an uncertain future of work, which requires us to shift our focus away from growth for growth’s sake. Leaders choosing to prioritise kindness, dignity and equality of opportunity over traditional routes of maximising profits and power at any cost will help safeguard the world for future generations.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
When employees feel safe and happy at work, they’re more likely to creatively problem solve and collaborate with others in a way that propels the company forward. When they feel valued and are treated with kindness, employees are more likely to pass this on to customers in an authentic manner. People are no longer just looking for quality products or services; they’re looking to spend their money with companies whose values are aligned with their own.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
In the early chaotic days of starting Kindred, tiredness, stress and inexperience led us to slip unwittingly into a culture of blame when problems arose. One employee came to me and spoke of her concerns about it. It was a hard, brave thing for her to do, but that conversation led us to proactively choose kindness as a company priority, and we’ve grown strong as a result. Her brave act of leadership in that moment made all the difference.

Andy Rowe

Chief Marketing Sciences Officer, RAPP Group

Andy is responsible for developing and leading the data science and analytics team so as to empower clients to drive business growth. He is a transformational leader whose positive impact is felt by colleagues, clients and industry alike. Since joining RAPP in 2017 he has built a 40-strong team of specialists focused on the latest techniques and approaches to delivering mass personalisation at scale. Prior to his current role, Andy spent over 10 years at MRM Meteorite, working with clients such as easyJet, TSB, Vauxhall, Amazon, Standard Life, Royal Mail, NSA and Blackberry.
“Andy’s caring approach has rippled through his team and is manifest in the strength of the relationships and strong support network that characterises his department. A powerful advocate for personal development, he trailblazed the adoption of ‘Friday training’, ringfencing time for his team’s ongoing learning, encouraging others to take his lead and directly contributing to RAPP winning IPA CPD Gold Accreditation three years running.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Never have we all been more in demand, more always-on, more concerned with what might be around the corner. What this means is that every single individual who is working is going through something different, some different high or low and, as leaders, we need to be ready to be there for both, and make sure our teams know whatever they are going through they can talk about it, get excited by it, or get the support they need.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
The lesson I always tell my kids (and hopefully it will sink in soon!) is ‘treat others as you want to be treated’. For me, if I know I am doing this I can feel happy in my day-to-day at home and at work. If we, as leaders, do this we can create environments that our teams feel confident in, creative in and, most importantly, happy in – and this type of workforce only brings success!
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
It is difficult to pick one example. What I can say though is that the leaders I work with today set great examples that inspire me to work even harder to do the same. This is the key to producing ever stronger leaders in our generation. The thing that stands out for me is that they care, they show their vulnerabilities, they show honesty and garner trust, and trust enables leaders to lead.

Alison Rose

Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Group

Alison is the CEO of NatWest Group. She started working for NatWest as part of its graduate scheme 27 years ago and has worked her way up to become the first female CEO of one of the UK’s largest banks. She has transformed NatWest into a purpose-led organisation that champions the potential of its people, and the customers and communities it serves. For years she has been instrumental in giving the bank’s Employee Led Networks (ELNs) not only a voice, but a regular seat at her table. She has been the sole sponsor of the ELNs for five years and advocates for them at every opportunity.
“Alison works at 100mph yet is generous with her time and always creates opportunities to engage with the ELNs. She is a powerful, inclusive listener who values the opinions of everyone. On her first day as CEO she spent as much time with our new interns as she did with her ExCo members. She relentlessly encourages all the ELNs, championing us and empowering us to succeed. Alison doesn’t believe in problems, only solutions. If there’s a barrier in our way Alison helps us knock it down and asks, ‘what’s next?’ She elevates us all.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
The world has changed so much in the last year but what hasn’t changed for me is the need to focus on my incredible colleagues and making sure each and every one of them knows how important they are. I want NatWest to be a workplace where people feel valued, happy and supported to be their best in every way. Kindness is at the heart of that.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
There's a lot of research showing the positive impact of kindness on business performance but, for me, being kind is about more than the business impact. It’s about creating a culture people want to be part of – where kindness underpins your decisions, your actions and is at the very core of what you do.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Being a kind leader isn’t about a one-off big moment. It’s the small, every day interactions that I think make the biggest difference. I’ve been making sure I regularly set aside time to recognise colleagues for their incredible work during the pandemic. Every weekend I write letters to those who have gone above and beyond to thank them for their work. I am continually inspired by the small acts of kindness happening across the business.

Air Vice Marshal Ian Gale MBE

Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force

As Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Ian Gale is responsible for the strategic management, coherence, reputation and all international, parliamentary and other engagement of the RAF plus many other special projects. He is a member of the Royal Air Force Board and a non-executive director of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Air Vice Marshal Ian Gale has set an impactful example of allyship through his personal commitment to staff engagement and his extensive mentorship that supports individuals and groups in their development whilst he too learns from his mentees in turn.
“An outstanding gender and diversity allies champion, Air Vice Marshal Ian Gale actively engaged in the Big Conversation webinar series, role modelling empathy and humility throughout. His personal messages of thanks and support to those prepared to share their personal experiences of gender reinforce his compassionate and inclusive leadership; setting a unique example to our whole organisation. Most recently his personal attention to the delivery of events for National Inclusion Week and advocacy of the use of chosen gender pronouns across the organisation have reinforced his personal commitment to developing the ‘heart’ and behaviours of the organisation.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
There’s not enough kindness in the world. All of us thrive when we experience a little kindness, help, mentorship and advocacy. It’s good for our health and professionally to give and receive some kindness, and it doesn’t cost us anything. Kindness can be the difference between happiness and unhappiness; it can be the thing that puts a spark in someone’s day and you never know where that might lead.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Kindness makes life sense as well as business sense. In the Royal Air Force, we make huge demands on our people and their families and we value the mutual support and team ethos we have. Kindness and respect for each other are key to that as they help us with our resilience, contribute to the unique bonds we have in the military and enable us to get through tough times.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Rather than one big event, this is an everyday thing – more about core values and behaviour. Helping someone to achieve their potential, calming their nerves, offering a different perspective, a shoulder to lean on, providing space for their home lives to fit with their work – these are everyday examples I see all around me that improve people’s lives and happiness… and a happy team is often a more imaginative and productive one too.

Abigail Dixon

Founder and Director, Labyrinth Marketing

An award-winning marketer with over 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s most well known brands, Abigail is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a trainer and accredited International Coaching Federation coach. She’s also the Founder and Director of Labyrinth Marketing – an independent consultancy that creates marketing strategies for businesses and provides training, coaching, mentoring and support to bring those plans to life. Called upon by influential marketing bodies for awards judging and thought leadership, Abigail’s an industry leader, determined to grow the people behind the brands as well as businesses.
“A leader who believes you should bring your ‘whole self’ to work is a leader we all need in our lives. It’s this focus on the individual that makes Abigail shine as a consultant, trainer, coach and colleague. Her approachable and relatable style, her enthusiasm for others and for putting people at ease, and her ability to listen intently means she makes a positive impact wherever she goes. Abigail lives to connect, inspire and empower and, by launching a podcast and donating her time to coaching others during lockdown, she offered hope to those unable to find hope for themselves.”

Why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world?
Kindness is essential to gain the respect and motivation of those whom they lead. To lead is to inspire and motivate, as well as to make decisions that drive the organisation and its people forward. Leaders who put their people first and see them as individuals build authentic connections and make decisions empathetically and effectively.
In your experience, how does kindness make business sense?
Organisations and businesses are nothing without their people. It’s proven that how people feel about and behave within an organisation isn’t determined by inflated pay and bonuses but rather how they are treated by their colleagues and how inspired they feel by their leaders and their leaders’ values. Therefore, being kind not only inspires and retains staff but it also means that staff will pass this onto customers. As such, empathy, kindness and respect should be at the heart of any organisation's values.
Can you give us one example of kindness in leadership making a significant impact?
Being kind makes you approachable and when you are approachable, those you lead will be more forthcoming with ideas and suggestions on how to improve, providing greater insight into your business, team, customers and, ultimately, enabling you to build better products and services, delivered by stronger, more collaborative and motivated teams. Leaders putting mental health first aiders in place is a great way to help and support colleagues without stigma and fear but with empathy and kindness.