Our Listees 2022

Victoria Wall

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, VWA Consulting and VWA Ltd
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In 1994, Victoria set up VWA Consulting – a leadership development consultancy founded to provide unbiased career advice to graduates and young people to help them find the right opportunities. To date, she has mentored 70 experienced consultants working with 500 businesses and, currently, she coaches 32 CEOs of global businesses and organisations, including the nonprofit mothers2mothers. Victoria is also Board Director of Percy & Reed, an advisor to Mesarete Capital and a trustee of two Africa-based charities.

“Victoria had been living her purpose – to ‘help, mentor, and coach people to be kind, happy and purposeful in their careers’. In her work with CEOs, she emphasises the virtues of kindness. She teaches her associates and employees the impact of three words – HELP, KINDNESS and COMPASSION. She is a humble and authentic leader. These qualities have helped her and associate consultants to develop a loyal base of clients.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
A kind leader is remembered for making someone feel valued and respected. This requires humility and interpersonal sensitivity; it is about putting your own views and agenda aside, to actively listen to and understand your colleague's thoughts and concerns. Communicating in an open, empathetic, and honest manner builds the foundation of trust necessary to learn from, support, and challenge each other. Kindness is an authentic and powerful approach to creating a culture of compassion and accountability, where people are not afraid to 'fail fast' and have a duty of care for each other, resulting in increased productivity and commitment to a common a goal.

Sunil Nayak

President Europe, Sodexo
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In his executive position at Sodexo, Sunil manages 32 territories and leads a team of nearly 100,000 people. In addition, he serves as Executive Sponsor of SoTogether – Sodexo’s Advisory Board on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – with a mission to drive gender balance by advancing women at all levels of the organisation. This dedication to accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion reaches beyond his company role: Sumil is also a member of Catalyst Europe Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of Women in Food and Agriculture.

“Sunil is a true role model for kindness and inclusion. He has built a balanced executive team, including 10 nationalities where 60 percent are women. He dedicates time to listen, coach and mentor, and to ensure a safe space for everyone to express their opinion. He never judges any opinion or different view, doing exactly the opposite instead: he always listens, asks to be challenged, respects and therefore adjusts if needed, so as to move forward stronger.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Displaying kindness is sometimes perceived as a weakness in leadership. It is misunderstood. Kindness helps a leader be more impactful. A leader can display kindness by engaging with his teams on what he or she expects, being authentic and genuine in listening to other people views and ideas, creating a safe space for people by not being judgmental and by leveraging the strengths in people. Kindness starts by taking the time to know your people and be empathetic to them. When we are online we miss human interaction and many times we are very transactional. We need to take time to treat our online meetings like in person meetings, keeping the simple things in mind like saying hello to all, asking them about their day and taking time to interact on the human side.

Sonia Tavanai-Tamanai

Senior Business Development Manager, McDermott Will & Emery
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Within just one year at McDermott Will & Emery, Sonia was promoted to Senior Business Development Manager – a promotion achieved while performing a role mainly remotely due to Covid lockdowns. She now leads business development efforts for the Finance and Litigation teams of the London office, helping to devise business development strategy to drive revenue by working closely with the respective fee earners on managing key client relationships. Sonia also supports the firm’s Global India Group and sits on the London Pro Bono committee.

“Sonia passionately believes in supporting and mentoring the junior members in her team and takes pride in leading the business development efforts of the lawyers she works with. During the pandemic, Sonia adapted to lead her teams and flexed to all of the challenges that the pandemic threw her way. She demonstrates an open management style where people can approach her for help with both work and personal problems (and they often do), where she will greet them with a smile and a ‘can-do’ response.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness is absolutely fundamental in leadership. It fosters an environment where people feel included, heard and part of a team. As humans we all want to feel like we belong. Kindness, empathy, mindfulness all create an environment where people can be open and be themselves, where they feel safe, where they can approach you for advice (both work and personal) and that is when I think you get the best out of people.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Check in with people. The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone in some way and whilst in most cases it is mostly 'back to normal' we are still navigating what this 'normal' looks like. Take the time to celebrate your team's achievements (no matter how big or small). And treat people how you would want to be treated.

Sheena Hales

Skillbank Lead, NatWest Group
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Sheena is the Skillbank Lead at NatWest Group, where she enables colleagues to use their skills in inspirational ways and create sustainable impact. During the pandemic, she set up a distribution centre for charities, delivering over 2.5 million meals and essential clothing items to isolated people. More recently, Sheena has led the housing of the flagship Welcome Centre and Humanisation Warehouse for displaced Ukrainian refugees – and shipped 500 specialist beds to a field hospital in Ukraine.

“Sheena is committed to bringing her best self to the world with ruthless compassion for our communities and businesses. She understands she’s offering service in the deepest sense of the word. She listens to bring organisational pace to crisis. She shows up with clarity and intention. Focused on the outcome, she doesn’t need her way to be the right way. Her leadership inspires others to collaborate internally and externally. She is curious and willing to learn, coaches, listens and invites feedback and praises, allowing others to reciprocate.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
I believe what goes around comes around. Kindness makes people feel valued. When they feel valued they are able to bring their best selves to work and all that they do. I aspire to achieve this by one kind act at a time. If you're kind to your team and those you engage with, they're likely to pass on that feeling to the people they manage and interact with – and you form an energetic wave of positivity throughout your business and community. When I choose kindness it brings joy and love and laughter into my life in ten fold. You have the power, as a leader, to promote this attitude. With true authentic kindness productivity and performance rises.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
I believe that real change in creating a culture of kindness in the workplace is not a sudden big change but is made up of hundreds of small decisions to choose kindness. It could be listening to a community in need, being truthful and have the courage to say when something isn't working, taking the moment to praise, investing time to help colleagues improve, being compassionate even when something has negatively impacted you. Every moment and every transaction (email, text, phone, meeting) you have the opportunity to start afresh and choose kindness.

Sharon Muxworthy

Regional Coach Development Officer, The FA
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Sharon is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of working in the sport and education sector. She is a qualified and experienced PE Teacher of 20 years. Sharon is now working in football, aligned to the FA Gamechangers and Strategy for Positive Change in recruiting more diverse workforce.

“Sharon’s kind leadership style has impacted so many people. I have been able to witness first-hand how many lives she has impacted, including mine. Sharon’s kind attitude and genuine care to help progress and develop my career have been instrumental in my successful coaching journey. Since I met Sharon, she has given me so much support and shared knowledge, motivated me and provided so many opportunities. The result is my confidence has increased, and I have now been able to help so many others start their journey in football coaching.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work (this can be online too!)
For me being present, transparent and genuinely interested in the people you work with helps to create and nurture a culture of greater self-awareness, vulnerability, honesty and trust allowing all members to feel valued. When working with a range of people from different organisations/communities I am my authentic self, striving to find how we can all work together to help our respective organisations/communities have a positive experience where they thrive and feel supported to succeed. 'Time' and 'listening to understand' are key facets in accomplishing this culture of kindness internally and externally .
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
I help to design a reward and recognition process where line managers were emailed when a colleague nominated someone for something they had done well aligned to our values as a company. I designed a postcard and gave these to managers to send out to their colleagues (handwritten) to thank them for the great work they were doing.
We have now switched to kudos online.

Sarah J Knowles

VP of Global Wellness & Resiliency, Teleperformance
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Sarah is a health, safety and wellbeing professional with over 18 years of industry experience. Currently working at Teleperformance as the Vice-President of Global Wellness & Resilience, Sarah is responsible for leading the Global T&S Wellness Programme and a team of over 100 global wellbeing specialists. Sarah has a passion for people and uses her knowledge, positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage and support others to both thrive and succeed. .

“Sarah’s leadership was second-to-none. As committed as she was to her work, she was just as committed to pouring kindness into her team to ensure they were empowered to provide the highest level of care in their roles. When curating programmes and advocating for resources, Sarah made it clear she carried the responsibility of all 275k+ staff – both their lives and their families. It was her mission to create wellbeing approaches rooted in empathy and inclusion for all.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
"In my view the best way to create a culture of kindness is to be the change that you want to see & truly lead from a place of Respect, Trust, Compassion, Empathy & Honesty.

Acknowledge peoples contributions, show sincere gratitude, invest in building relationships, celebrate victories (big & small) and lean in to solve for issues, without apportioning blame.

Samantha Cohen

Commonwealth Trade Envoy, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council
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Sam is a strategic visionary who is adept at anticipating market trends and strategic and political shifts, and advising individuals, businesses and organisations on how to deliver and manage change ahead of competitors. Recently Sam co-founded The Queen’s Green Canopy, The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and, as CEO, she has expanded the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. She has extensive experience as a high-level adviser to governments, as well as Her Majesty The Queen. Until July 2022, Sam was Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Downing Street.

“When you meet Sam Cohen, your life changes for the better. She is an inspirational person and leader; people love working with her and for her, and have done so for decades. Despite a demanding schedule, she invests time in people, generating opportunities to help them grow and achieve. She also helps to navigate difficulties – she is the person everyone turns to when they need advice or support. She proactively recognises the achievements of others but is never looking to be celebrated herself.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Creating a culture of kindness at work starts with leading by example. It is important that leaders genuinely care for their teams and help to thrive, amplify their talents and create the conditions for their success.

Sairah Ashman

Global Chief Executive Officer, Wolff Olins
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Sairah joined brand consultancy Wolff Olins almost 30 years ago as Engagement Director, before running the business for EMEA. After a solid track record as COO, she took the reins of the global business and now serves as Global CEO. In addition, Sairah is a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, a trustee of the Childhood Trust and a founding member of both the House of St Barnabas – an NGO intent on breaking the cycle of homelessness and social exclusion – and Omniwomen, an initiative championing women in communication careers.

“Sairah Ashman’s leadership style is kind, empathic and supportive. She is an incredibly good listener; she will always hear out the different perspectives in the room before making a call. She is driven by fairness and will go an extra mile to understand where someone is coming from. She makes a point of getting the full picture of what is going on with a person, not just at work, but at home, and in their head. And then she can find the right words and actions that really make a difference, so the person feels understood and supported.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
It's relevant because it naturally encourages critical behaviours such as listening, empathy, a willingness to embrace different perspectives and to work things through together. All of which help in developing better more holistic outcomes and results. Leadership still means being driven, decisive and accountable. Acting with warmth and compassion doesn't change that or make you less results driven. It simply means you're more people focused in the way you operate and act. Bringing a willingness to flex, adapt and support others to get the best out of any situation.

Sadie Baron

Chief Marketing Officer, Reed Smith
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As CMO at Reed Smith, Sadie oversees the firm’s 30 global offices, with a mission to tell the world the Reed Smith story – as it’s a story she is very proud to be part of. Using her 20-year experience in marketing to develop a vision for her function that is light years ahead of the competition, she empowers her team to make a difference together. Driven and enthusiastic, with high energy, Sadie’s style is pragmatic and practical, and she has a rare skill set that cross-functional teams can bank on.

“Through Sadie’s kind and empathetic leadership style, she ensures each and every member of her team (about 100 individuals) knows they can speak to her directly about any issue they are facing, no matter how big or small. Despite being incredibly busy, she makes time for everyone and displays genuine empathy for her team. Her team greatly appreciates this, and it ensures there is a feeling of togetherness, as everyone is working together to achieve the same goal.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
For me, kindness is about how you bring your most authentic self to work each day with an empathic, caring, compassionate and commercial outlook. Being kind doesn't mean being just simply nice to everyone. It is about being genuine, interested and present. The best leaders are the ones who are present and really engaged, spending time to listen to their teams, peers, clients and communities. You simply know when you have been with someone who has kindness running through their DNA and it makes you want to spend more time with them, work with them, deliver for them. I think you bring the best out of people when you can show them kindness and happy, more engaged people give better results.

Sabrina Das

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
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Sabrina is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, where she is also a clinical coach and founded the Antenatal Big Room, a multidisciplinary improvement meeting for staff and service users. In addition, she serves as Lead Consultant on the Maternity Voices Partnership and RCOG Patient Information Committee, working to create innovative patient information via social media and traditional formats. She previously served as Departmental Lead for Maternity in the Médecins Sans Frontières Taiz-Houban Project in Yemen.

“Whilst working in Yemen, her respect and authenticity in dealing with the local staff allowed her to connect with her team and transform their way of working with an emphasis on support and kindness. Sabrina’s work in the Antenatal Big Room was mentioned seven times in the Imperial Maternity ‘Outstanding’ CQC report and has truly made a quality improvement to business as usual in the maternity unit. Her approach of openness and listening empowers people to question dogma and gives them the courage to speak up.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness in leadership means more collaboration, engagement, a healthy workforce, and a strategy that puts the needs of the most vulnerable in the centre of what we do. It results in more job satisfaction, higher productivity, a helping culture and a sense of mission over obligation. Most importantly, it is just the right way to behave, the right thing to do.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Whenever I have a dilemma or ethical question, or when I feel frustrated at work, I close my eyes and imagine what the kind solution would look like. Sometimes, this involves some kindness to myself - the undesired outcome is not my fault - in order to make the best decision regarding how to move forwards. Other times, it involves apologising and being honest about a mistake. On a day to day level, creating a culture of kindness is easy in theory (really simple things like learning everybody's names and taking the time at the start of a team huddle to ask how people's day is going) but in reality it is hard. Kindness isn't "being nice", it is creating an environment where people feel looked after and safe. This is in many ways opposite to the traditional "bossing it" model of leadership.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
I have had a few instances where patients have suffered harm during the most vulnerable period of their lives (giving birth). We are meant to be involving patients in the investigation of incidents, and many hospital departments and maternity units do this with a bit of fear and caution. I take the approach of being kind, which means being open, honest, and transparent. This has resulted in more meaningful and healing conversations with the individuals and teams involved. More importantly, it means that learning can take place and that harmful events are less likely to happen to others in the future.

You can read about this in a blog article I wrote: https://q.health.org.uk/blog-post/i-worked-there-so-i-felt-safe-a-medics-experience-of-losing-voice/

Ruw Abeyratne

Director of Health Equality and Inclusion, University Hospitals of Leicester
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Ruw is a practising physician specialising in geriatric medicine. She combines her clinical work with her role as Director of Health Equality and Inclusion, which enables her to fulfil her commitment to advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Ruw is also a coach and Co-founder of The Coaching Pod, a collaborative that aims to bring coaching conversations into our working lives. She believes that by empowering and enabling others with simple coaching mantras and tools, the workplace can be improved for all.

“Ruw embodies kind leadership by celebrating uniqueness in others and supporting them to grow. She is not afraid to show her own vulnerability and believes in sharing her experiences to inspire others. The impact of her approach empowers her colleagues to make changes that truly impact on the wider population. Ruw’s leadership helps staff to be more productive, effective and, most importantly, happy, which in turn produces better, kinder, and more cost-effective patient care.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
1. Lead by example - show kindness to others in small ways, this can be a simple, ""How are you?"" or a quick email to say ""you were quiet today, can I help?"".

2. Give freely - time is precious and everyone knows this. It's the biggest commodity we trade in. Give your time, freely when you can see that it will enable someone to progress or shine.

3. Smile - it's disarming. Even when someone is being difficult or you've just about had enough, a smile shared can lighten the load. It's gives us that moment of silence to pause and reflect. It challenges others to smile back.

4. Belive in the power of kindness. It takes courage and strength to be kind. It isn't a 'soft skill' or an optional extra. If everyone was just a little kinder to each other, imagine how the world could change.

Ruth Daniel

Chief Executive Officer, In Place of War
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Ruth is CEO and Creative Director at In Place of War, a global charity using music and creativity to bring positive change to areas of conflict in 26 countries. An activist, changemaker and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, Ruth has led, developed and implemented over 100 cultural programmes in war and post-war zones and areas of economic deprivation for over 18 years. Prior to this, she held numerous influential roles – from record label owner and band manager to fundraiser, entrepreneur, educator and speaker.

“Ruth leads with purpose, kindness, empathy, determination and absolutely unwavering tenacity. Her creative and humanitarian vision frames the mission of In Place of War with the passion, belief and resilience she dedicates to her role, both as an inspirational leader and very much a knee-deep, in-the-action member of the team. Her hands-on leadership style means she’s at the heart of everything we do and is ever agile to flex our strategy according to the external landscape and urgent needs of the communities we support.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
As I leader, I believe in leading by example. To be kind, trusting and considerate of others is important - firstly as a natural human way of being caring, but also to foster and kind and compassionate work environment. We work with remarkable change-makers across the world and many of those people work in a voluntary capacity - making change in their communities, because they have to - because they are kind. We reflect that sentiment across our organisation. I feel that every person I work with is kind and compassionate. We value well being and our teams mental and physical health beyond outputs. A happy and healthy team will deliver incredible impact.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Trust: The key factor is trust - we employ amazing people, so we trust them to deliver

Support: We support our team as much as funding permits to develop their skills. We also all support each other with a horizontal style of working, each team member feeding into all pieces of work - so we produce the best impact with everyone's rich and diverse skillsets.

Flexibility: We allow our team to work how they want to, from where they want to, in the way that works for them. We support those who want to be office based and we equally support those working from home. We don't set working hours or days. There is a job to be done and the team work to deliver it. We trust they will - and they do. Those with children are able to select they way they want to work - whether they take leave or not, is up to them.

Diversity: It's essential to have a diverse team - with different minds, from different backgrounds, representing different cultures. We pro-actively ensure that all voices are represented - recently setting up a Youth Advisory Board and having our global change-makers sit on our Board.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
We rely on the kindness of people everyday. We are a tiny organisation and we rely on the support of those, particularly from the creative industries and those in executive positions to help us further our mission of combating conflict with creativity. We are thankful for those who have formed our Global Music Advisory Board, the many volunteers who support our work across the year, our trustees who voluntary serve the board and our wonderful team of staff, who go above and beyond their duties to support the work we do. The Global Music Advisory Board has helped us distribute music equipment to support 25 music spaces and led to us raising over £100k during the pandemic to distribute to those in the most need to set up community kitchens and responses, which have outlasted the pandemic.

Rhona Hunt

Superintendent, Metropolitan Police Service
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Rhona is a Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Service with responsibility for neighbourhood policing in two London Boroughs. Having recently completed a masters in applied criminology at the University of Cambridge, where she researched policing culture and officer attitudes, she has a keen in interest in applying evidence based policing to operational practice. In recognition of her leadership achievements in policing so far and her work with communities across London, she was awarded a Women of the Future award in 2021.

“Rhona is a beacon of warmth and human kindness. She wants to make sure that communities are at the heart of policing and that people are treated with compassion, dignity and respect. She uses her platform to speak openly about the challenges that policing faces and the need to do better, while also using her energy, optimism and determination to lead by example.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
"Leadership is the acceptance of responsibility, not the assumption of power. The responsibility you hold is primarily to those you serve, not the performance targets you are trying to drive. Consequently, your reputation is your credibility as a leader - people will always remember how you made them feel and word gets around. You will inevitably have to make difficult and unpopular decisions, to have tough conversations and say no. That's leadership. But you can still be kind. Kindness isn't about people pleasing, it isn't about being 'nice' or about being weak. It's about having compassion, considering others, doing what you can to make a difference to others and making time for people.
To quote Bananarama (a sentence I never thought I would type) ""it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it...and that's what gets results."""

Rachel Tracey

Partner in Data FS Technology, KPMG UK
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With over 15 years of experience and a proven track record in the delivery of complex data and digital transformation projects across the banking and insurance sectors, Rachel leads the KPMG Financial Services technology data practice. She is a specialist in data architecture, reporting, data management and data migration, and strategic in her approach. Also widely recognised for her ability to balance professional expertise with personal qualities of empathy, resilience and authenticity, Rachel has supported colleagues throughout her career.

“Rachel is open and honest; her kindness is exemplified in her every action across KPMG. She has given her team members space to shape solutions, to create their own purpose and role. She has provided her team members with support to develop their careers, introduced them to experts in their field of interest and been instrumental in helping them to develop self-confidence and self-belief. Rachel’s view is always – a rising tide lifts all boats, and, with this perspective, Rachel supports her colleagues to achieve their goals with kindness.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Culture of kindness can include calling out good acts by colleagues such as team members buddy a new joiner, supporting/mentoring and helping the team/colleagues through any difficulties in an understanding and empathic way.

Peter McGahan

Chief Executive Officer, Worldwide Financial Planning
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With over 30 years of experience in financial services, Peter currently holds the role of CEO of Worldwide Financial Planning, a firm providing bespoke financial advice to individuals, their families and businesses. Passionate about sustainable economies and societies, he was recognised by Commetric as the third most influential Environmental Social and Governance influencer in the world in 2020. Peter also writes for prominent publications including FT Business and Irish News Business.

“Our team treats each other, our customers and our community in a manner which is kind, fair, generous, respectful, and empathetic. This is down to Peter’s consistency in leadership, his courage and resilience, his ability to connect with people and situations, his mindfulness, his ability to empower our team, and his courage and resilience in ensuring our firm leads from the front.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
There are a number of ways in which I do this at Worldwide Financial Planning. Kindness is important to me, my team, our clients and our wider community.
It’s about creating that culture first and for me that always starts with our ‘why’ – why do we do what we do? The answer of course is that when we work aligned to our values, and when everything comes from a kind place, amazing things will happen. Before we began our rebrand process, I sat down with my team, in small, separated groups, and we established together what our brand values are – one of the common values our groups came up with included kindness. We discussed the inspirational power of kindness, everyone put forward examples of how their colleagues have been kind in the past and we spoke about how crucial kindness is in terms of our mental health and well-being – not just in the workplace but also in our personal lives.

Peter Brown MBE

Joint Global People & Organisation Leader, PwC
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Peter has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, which has culminated in his current role as Co-leader of PwC’s global P&O business – that covers 11,000 people across 138 countries. Having spent his formative years as an officer within the Royal Air Force, Peter continues to embody values of trustworthiness and conscientiousness as well as the highest standards and levels of integrity. He volunteers his time as a charity trustee, a military reservist and an ambassador for the RAF Museum.

“Peter Brown embodies kindness through his generosity, empathy, and empowering leadership style, with quality at the heart of everything he does. He is a true advocate for people becoming the best they can be, dedicating hours to coaching and mentoring. He is genuinely curious and remembers personal details such as names of family, hobbies, and other important facts. He exemplifies honesty and openness in the way he shares his vision and aspirations, creating a circle of trust that drives high performance.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
For me, effective leadership and kindness go hand in hand. Truly effective leaders care about the people they work with, care and try to understand what is important to them, and understand the intrinsic link between happiness at work and productivity. Kindness helps to cultivate effective teams which tend to have more energy, feel more enthusiastic about new skills and ideas, and express more satisfaction with their jobs; all of these are the perfect antidote to the current trend we are seeing of ‘quiet quitting’.

Kindness builds trust, which is currently at an all time low and needs to be fixed, especially after the ongoing crises such as Covid and the Ukraine war. The NHS Leadership Academy state “People in high-trust teams have better wellbeing and performance” which I wholeheartedly agree with.

At a personal level, displaying kindness brings me happiness - and we all need as much of that as we can find!
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Treat people how you would wish to be treated is important. Often overlooked, yet relatively simple things make a huge difference: be interested in your colleagues, show common courtesies like saying hello and when you ask how are things, really listen to the answer. Recognise and praise kindness and explicitly reference it in your organisations competencies. Thank people for their kindness. Offer help, don't turn a blind eye if a colleague is overwhelmed with a deadline. Offer to be a mentor. If you are responsible for the people strategy within your organisation, be clear on why kindness matters at a business and personal level.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
Recently a colleague fed back to me that another colleague had said that an impromptu conversation that I'd had with her, and the care I’d shown during that exchange had actually reversed a decision she’d made to leave the firm. Over recent months this has been the most powerful example of how kindness really matters to people and business. It's the simplest examples that really matter. Whether it's a thank you note from someone, or indeed someone noticing that it may not be the best day and asking if I'm ok. Or someone listening with care to a concern I have. These are the moments that have a lasting impact on me.

Patricia Covarrubia

Reader in Law, University of Buckingham
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Patricia is a Reader in Law at the University of Buckingham and an IP Consultant for Latin America IP SME Helpdesk. She has also drafted internal policies, namely the Data Protection Policy (2015) and the Academic Misconduct Policy and Process (2016 and 2021). With the belief that the education system should be shaped around each student, Patricia immeasurably impacts the life of staff and students at the School of Law, where she also serves as champion of dyslexic thinking, leading the institution on the crucial journey of diversification of assessments.

“Patricia is a kind, compassionate and empathetic leader. She ensures that students have an active learning experience to enhance their learning and development. She uses her own personal experiences to make education more accessible to students. Patricia has shaped the organisation and created a wider impact by making monumental and subtle changes which are inclusive for all.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
In our everyday life we are communicating with others and in a world that is going so fast, we need to pause. Our senses provide us with the perfect tools to relate to others. We see struggles, we smell fear, we touch a person that is shaking. By pausing we can perceive these situations and then we can act upon it. By listening to others, we identify the issues which should prompt us to provide a hand (literally or not). Creating an environment where we relate to one another produces connections. We rely on each other, we encourage, we support. And sometimes results will not be as expected, but we as a group rather than reprimand one, we pause, reflect, acknowledge, and guide for a better outcome.

Effective leadership provides the space for everyone to pause and acknowledge. We are to provide an environment of recognition, and appreciation. There are good days and bad days; and with kindness, individual performance and the group behaviour becomes more productive.

Nate Macabuag

Founder, Koalaa
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Nate founded Koalaa, a virtual support service for people with limb difference. Having studied at Imperial College London and the Royal Academy of Engineering, Nate saw an opportunity to create a prosthetic that was cheaper and more comfortable than the prosthetics currently on the market. Rather than trying to recreate a hand, using expensive and uncomfortable materials, Nate built his prosthetic from the user up, focusing instead on creating a range of ‘hands’ that could be plugged in and out. This change in approach has meant that Nate is able to send prosthetics around the world, without the usual wait times or prohibitive cost.

“I first met Nate back in 2018… I have seen how his intellectual curiosity for an ‘engineering solution’ has transformed into a path of passion, fuelled by kindness for the people he is now helping with what he is creating. He has built his company from scratch, raising funding, expanding his operations, building a team and global community, and picking up design awards to boot. And he has done this while continuing to mentor and support others around him, helping fellow innovators on their start-up journeys and speaking openly about his challenges in a way that speaks truthfully about what is nearly always a bumpy journey to success!”

Empathy, always. Putting yourself in others shoes and realising that they’re no better or worse of a person than you, they’re just different, and difference is awesome! It’s how we grow. It leads to understanding. Always give people the benefit of the doubt, even at the risk of being burnt by it. Yes there are sharks out there (and yes I've been bitten by them!) but there are way more good people than bad, so it’s always served me well to assume the best of people. And make sure those first few people that you hire share those tendencies. Cultures don’t really seem to be made by people they seem to more be reflections of the people in them. So if you surround yourself with others you consider to be generous, and forgiving and kind then I’m fairly confident your culture will reflect it.

Michael Brown

Managing Partner, UM
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In his role at UM, Michael’s influence is felt across the industry. He founded MRSpride, the first industry-wide employee resource group for LGBTQ+ communities, with the goal to improve the way marginalised communities are represented in the market research sector – both as employees and respondents. Michael represents UM on the UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance UK Chapter, heads up UM’s Better World CSR programme, helps lead the D&I programme at IPG Mediabrands and also led UK by UM, a research series on stereotyping.

“Michael is generous, warm, considerate of others’ feelings and always thinking of positively helping and enriching the lives of others…not only for charitable causes like FCV Dorcas, but also for everyone around him. He is a special kind of leader, one who inspires his teams through empathy and understanding, and achieves consistently outstanding work as a direct result of his personal style. Always leading with kindness and humility, easily setting aside ego and ready to champion others, he sets an example for us all.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kind leadership is rooted in empathy, or in genuinely understanding - and responding to - the things that your people care about, their perspectives, their hopes and their worries. However, in order to understand what's on your team's mind, they have to first feel able to share openly.

Kind leadership therefore necessitates open communication, and creating organisational spaces of psychological safety in which people feel able to truly articulate what's on their mind. This is especially important for people from marginalised communities, who may not find it as easy to voice their experiences at work. Active listening, and acting on that insight, is a very powerful factor in creating happy and effective communities.

So, kind and empathetic leadership, powered by open communication, is the only way to truly enable a happy and healthy community at work, and is therefore the only way to have teams that feel supported and ready to feel their best, perform their best, and - in doing so - drive a business forward.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
The pandemic, and all the difficulties it brought, was the ultimate illustration of the role of kindness in our business. It was a time of shared vulnerability, and we pulled together as a community of colleagues, but also - more broadly - of clients, suppliers and other friends - in order to weather the great anxiety and instability of that time.

Matt Sinnott

Former Group People & Property Director, Lloyds Banking Group
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As Group Director of People and Property at Lloyds Banking Group, Matt was responsible for the design, development and implementation of the people and property strategy, from transforming the business’s culture to the delivery of the operational property portfolio. He combines strong technical expertise with a capacity for developing innovative solutions in challenging business contexts, a skill that earned him numerous specialist senior positions throughout his HR career in the financial services industry.

“Matt Sinnott puts ‘human’ back in human resources. He has led the HR function at Lloyds with extraordinary empathy and compassion across a range of challenging issues, including conduct rule breaches, grievances, disciplinaries and colleagues facing impossibly stressful situations – domestic abuse, bereavement, and nervous breakdowns. Matt is always first to consider the emotional state of the colleague and offers thoughtful ways forward which draw on his huge reserves of genuine kindness. Matt leads by example, and his kindness permeates the culture of the entire organisation.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Take a genuine interest in the people you lead. It’s sometimes hard to create the time in busy schedules to spend with people, but it means a huge amount to them when you do. And you’ll find it enriching for yourself too. And most importantly, really listening to people around you, to what is happening in both their work and personal lives, can make a big difference to people. Creating an environment where people feel safe to open up on the challenges they are facing can help them overcome those challenges together.

Matt Himsworth

Director, B5 Consultancy Limited
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Matt is a media lawyer who works in sport, supporting Premier League football clubs, players and staff. In 2020, together with former footballer Fraser Franks, he set up B5 Consultancy as a means to help players maintain good, safe and respectful behaviours. He has since acted for some of the most celebrated names in sport, business and entertainment, bringing successful legal claims against Apple, the Daily Mail and other media companies. He is passionate about education and supporting the human being rather than the player.

“Matt’s style is to shout praise and whisper criticism. He has taken a small group of sportsmen and women and allowed them to follow their passion and develop it into a caring business which is founded on core values of integrity, kindness, understanding and curiosity. The services we offer – led by Matt – are founded on empathy and a desire to protect the mental wellbeing of young men and women who are developing in the high-pressured environment of professional sport.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
"In the words of my colleague, Brian McDermott, was ask if people are ok ... and we mean it. At B5 Consultancy we believe strongly in being open and willing to learn. No-one is required to share what is going on in their lives but we know that what is going on away from work, hugely impacts performance at work, and so we genuinely care about all the other trials and tribulations that go on in our colleagues' lives. We are lucky inasmuch as our business model includes open and public discussion of key personal issues in sport such as: imposter syndrome, mental health, relationships, sobriety, online abuse. This means that having personal conversations about how we feel and how we are getting through life become very natural. We have a morning call every day (when everyone is available) which can sometimes be directed to key business points but is often directed at how we are progressing at home, with health issues and with everything that makes us human.

So my tip is - just talk."

Lindsay Booth

Director of Operations, Hyperoptic
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Lindsay led Openreach’s regional delivery of fibre networks before joining fibre optic broadband provider Hyperoptic, where she leads teams across the UK and Serbia to drive critical infrastructure outcomes. Lindsay delivers by keeping individuals and workforce groups at the heart of what she does, creating career pathways and prospects for engineering teams, embedding engineering excellence as part of the organisational culture, and leading on health and safety to keep huge and disparate workforces safe.

“Lindsay drives a culture of empowerment and questioning. She will test your plans in a way that always feels developmental, but never takes the final decision away from you. Lindsay links the bigger picture together to motivate people, but also remembers every small detail about individuals. She calmly checks the full chain of events that will stem from a decision to ensure it’s right for the people impacted and has a calm demeanour that radiates to her whole team, even under pressure. Her unofficial catchphrase is ‘together, we can fix that’.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Treat people as you would want to be treated yourself, and be genuine (true to yourself). Everyone has something else going on in their life that you won't know about, so be the person that you want to deal with on your worst day when everything is going wrong. That doesn't mean that you have to not challenge poor performance or something inappropriate that may have happened, understanding and being kind to someone doesn't stop you from having a challenging conversation, but it will make those conversations more effective.

Laura Beattie

Co-founder, Careaux
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Laura is an advocate for disability and inclusive fashion and Co-founder of inclusive womenswear brand, Careaux. As a business leader, she uses her influence to drive improvements for disabled people and publically champions accessibility. She has volunteered and worked with 100 organisations, delivering public talks and running workshops for institutions and businesses such as The Prince’s Trust, Sky News, the University of Oxford, Disability Stockport and Natwest. Currently, Laura volunteers for Leonard Cheshire Changemakers.

“Laura is the true embodiment of kindness – she has a unique ability to empathise wholly with others no matter what – taking the time to understand and listen to every person. Laura always puts others before herself, giving herself time to support both individuals and organisations. I can see how much Laura impacts the people around her – from customers to suppliers – she always offers support and gives her time, treating everyone with genuine kindness.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness is relevant to effective leadership, if not the foundation of effective leadership. It is inclusive, it treats people with respect, it allows people to use their voice in a safe environment, in an open and communicative way. It allows yourself and other people to be empathetic to and understand the circumstances of people that you work with and support and adapt to their needs to ensure that they know that they can fulfil their potential.

Kindness is the foundation of every part of life, professional and personal. Why would you not want to be kind?

Keith Metters

Head of Global Workplace Investing, Fidelity International
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Keith is Fidelity International’s Global Head of Workplace Investing and a member of the company’s Global Operating Committee. He is responsible for managing Fidelity’s significant – and growing – global workplace business, which covers the defined contribution pension servicing businesses in the UK, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan; as well as the company’s International Pension Plan business and Stock Plan Services distribution. Prior to joining Fidelity International, Keith spent 20 years at Fidelity Investments in the US.

“Keith values customer relations, which he instils in teams by empowering them to develop more inclusive policies and practices, such as introducing gender-neutral titles into the client system. Keith is committed to giving rich time to Fidelity’s diversity initiatives, such as developing diverse talent and embedding inclusive recruitment practices. His open mind allows him to support Fidelity’s diversity initiatives without bias. Keith puts the client at the heart of the business, often referencing the ‘honour and privilege’ that it is to serve so many members.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Early in my career I was struck by the following quote (not sure of the source): "leadership is the gift given by those that choose to follow". We are all called to create an environment where our teams can do its best work that unlocks its full potential. Empathy and humility are critical to creating a high-performing team.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
"Be deliberate about exercising humility and empathy. Be open, honest, and transparent and embrace giving and receiving feedback as a gift. Truly invest in each other's success."
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
I have been so fortunate to have had mentors that deeply cared about me personally and professionally and provided counsel and advice that made me recognize the importance of leadership. Particularly early in my career, terms such as "psychological safety" were not used, but the essence was absolutely articulated. Further, those mentors modelled the behaviours that I aspired to and they consistently delivered exceptional business results. To those mentors, I am eternally grateful!

Katy Davies

Managing Director, CamdenBoss

Katy has been the Managing Director of CamdenBoss for a little over two years. During that time, she has led the business through the pandemic and driven a complete cultural overhaul in a previously hard environment – to create an inclusive modern manufacturing business that gets the best from people through a workplace culture of empathy, compassion and respect. In addition, gender diversity is almost fifty-fifty – a rare feat in the manufacturing industry – and the business encourages engagement from all staff in strategy and big decisions.

“As Managing Director of CamdenBoss, Katy has transformed the culture to one that focuses on people. She understands the importance of employees being their authentic selves at work and knows this is driven by leadership. She holds all leaders of the business accountable to their leadership style to ensure that they are people focused. Her leadership has empowered employees to be open and honest about their wellbeing and feel comfortable to share if they are struggling.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness is fundamental in our era of modern compassionate leadership. With kindness comes fairness and respect, without which I'm really not sure how you could lead effectively. It is often misconstrued that kind leadership is "soft" or "fluffy", but this is not the case - by leading with kindness making difficult calls or having difficult conversations becomes eminently easier as the basis for fair and respectful relationships has already been established and as a leader you are acting accordingly.

Katie Cramond

Director of Business Development International, McDermott Will & Emery
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Katie began her career in the UK marketing team at EY London, moved to Freshfields London in 2012 and also worked in roles across Asia and New York. In 2019, she joined McDermott, Will & Emery – one of the world’s largest grossing law firms – as Associate Director, and was soon promoted to her current position of Director of Business Development International. In this role, she focuses on building growth and loyalty with existing and prospective clients, as well as developing cross-border collaboration across the McDermott platform.

“Katie has excellent people skills, demonstrated by her high EQ and ability to work with the varying and often demanding personalities within law firms. Katie is nurturing and committed to her team’s personal growth. She creates an inclusive culture, investing in her staff and fostering client relationships… The success of those around her is as important to Katie as her own success.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
I personally believe kindness to be one of the most undervalued leadership skills. Over the last 2 years, we have all experience firsthand the importance of kindness in every aspect of our lives and I think in the workplace it is finally being rewarded for the value it brings. For me, kindness is being aware of our actions impact on others, building and instilling trust with our team members through sincerity, transparency and authenticity. Kindness is valuing and respecting the people you work with and recognising the importance of work life balance and individuals' unique skill sets.

Kathryn Partridge

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Britvic
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Kathryn is a highly experienced corporate affairs, advocacy and communications director and a pioneer of reputation as a critical business lever in global organisations. She has spent over 30 years working across multiple industries at companies including Diageo, Tata and now Britvic – where she serves as Corporate Affairs Director. Kathryn is the architect behind Britvic’s Working Well programme and has established a truly empathetic and inclusive way of working, creating a simple, focused and agile culture where people feel empowered to thrive.

“Kathryn embodies empathy. She loves the phrase ‘cool head, warm heart’, and she lives and breathes it. She has a gift for always putting herself in someone else’s shoes, imagining how they might feel or react, and she acts accordingly. Her belief in her team has empowered corporate affairs to step-change our performance – from delivering purpose-driven reporting and stakeholder engagement to award-winning channel development.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
It may be a cliche, but I believe in treating people as one would wish to be treated. I believe that kindness starts with empathy, which can be cultivated by listening hard to what's said and what's not said, and by taking a real interest in what makes other people tick. For me, kindness inspires. And in turn, inspirational leadership is all about leaning into kindness to help others find their superpowers.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
Early on in my career, I was able to reach a recalcitrant Board director through exhibiting basic kindness, which was sadly seen as novel. What I remember most about that experience wasn't actually the performance unlock it undoubtedly generated, it was how the encounter - as terrifying as it might have been given the disparity in our seniority - made me feel. I've never forgotten that.

Kate Boguslawska

Partner/Solicitor, Carter Lemon Camerons LLP
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Kate came to the UK to study a master’s degree in literature, culture and art; however, while working as a translator and interpreter, she discovered her love for the law. In 2006 she qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, often using her bilingualism to help Polish-speaking nationals gain access to the English legal system. In 2015 Kate joined Carter Lemon Camerons as a Partner, and in 2020 she co-founded Women’s Business Link, an organisation supporting women professionally and personally.

“Kate does not want her team members to just follow her; she teaches them to become leaders. Through her own actions she is a leading example, and her actions inspire others to inspire more, learn more, do more and become more. Kate knows how to guide her team members towards high productivity and workplace enjoyment, utilising her unique approach which includes encouragement, good listening skills, empathy and understanding. She balances these qualities with hard work, a focus on success and effective time management.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
To create a culture of kindness at work, a leader has to genuinely like and respect other people, their different opinions and various backgrounds. The leader then has to lead by example, by showing that they care about other people and by encouraging other people to develop and progress themselves. This can be done through active conversation, through honest feedback, through setting tasks and through encouraging even small steps towards their realization. Another tip would be to follow the rule of praising in public and correcting or criticising in private.

Julia Usher

Managing Director, Ashes Memorial Jewellery
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Julia trained at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham before opening a chain of jewellery stores. In 2017, she founded Ashes Memorial Jewellery, born from the experience of losing several beloved family members and wanting to commemorate them through jewellery. This successful company is informed by her combined experience of jewellery making and retail management, as well as her passion for supporting every customer’s journey through grief to produce special, British-made heirlooms.

“Julia is a shining example of how kindness in leadership can encourage and grow that same outlook in a team and, in turn, our customers. Leading by example, Julia makes a genuine effort to connect to those around her, nurturing a happy and productive work environment. We all feel part of a family, each with a valued role in the business and given credit and praise for the work we do. This supportive culture benefits our customers, who are reassured throughout the process, knowing that their loved one’s ashes are in safe hands.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness in my opinion should be the corner stone of a business. A business leader should strive to create a culture of happiness, respect and compassion within the workplace. Kindness and leadership go hand in hand. If you are a kind leader your workforce will naturally become more engaged with their roles within the workplace. You will also find the caring culture you have nurtured will then in turn organically spread through the entire team. If you empower and care for your team them you will find you can create a powerful workforce of driven, engaged and devoted individuals who will aspire to go above and beyond in the workplace.

Jonathan Russell

Chief Executive Officer, Valuation Office Agency
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Jonathan is CEO of the Valuation Office Agency, which employs 4,200 people and provides government with valuations and property advice to support taxation and benefits. He began his civil service career 33 years ago in the Health and Safety Executive, and has since held roles in policy, leading on primary and secondary legislation; in the Secretary of State’s Private Office and in an international capacity working for the European Union and the United Nations. His most recent position, before joining the VOA, was Director for HR Services at the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Jonathan has a huge amount of empathy and a keen sense of fairness. Since becoming CEO, he’s set an example, transforming our culture to be more open, welcoming of feedback, inclusive and collaborative. Colleagues recognise this: with large increases in staff survey scores around feeling valued and inclusivity, and our highest ever employee engagement score – moving from nearly last in 2018 to above the civil service average.”

Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
Our response to Covid 19 illustrates how kindness at work had a profoundly positive impact on our business. It was of upmost importance to me that we responded in a way that was kind and demonstrated empathy for our colleagues and customers. Our colleagues were worried about their personal well-being as well as their ability to serve our customers at a time when they needed us most. Looking after our people at such a time was not only morally the right thing to do, but also the only way we could deliver for millions of ratepayers and home-owners.

I made sure our kindness extended to making provision for colleagues to take time out to look after loved ones who were ill. We provided allowances for office equipment so everyone could work from home. We made offices available for those who were unable to work from home for logistical or mental health reasons. We provided health and well-being advice and equipped our managers with the skills to support their teams. But above all, we took care to look out for everyone by facilitating regular contact between colleagues at every level of the organisation, from the executive committee down.

As a result, our people could see we respected, trusted and cared for them. Through kindness and by protecting and promoting well-being in this way, the organisation was able to deliver our business throughout the pandemic, helping millions of people."

Helen Hambly

Executive Business Director- Digital Development, OMD
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A digital communications expert, Helen has worked in the advertising and communications industry for over a decade. Prior to her current role of Executive Business Director of Digital Development at OMD UK – the world’s largest media agency network – she worked for WPP’s Wavemaker on brands like Compare the Market, EE and L’Oréal, leading teams in various specialisms. Helen is a Women in Search nominee and has won numerous industry awards for her work in search, display and social disciplines for BMW, Nationwide and L’Oréal.

“Helen has the perfect blend of two crucial leadership qualities: IQ and EQ. Her media knowledge is unparalleled, and she guides people through challenging periods with the emotional intelligence to remain in tune with her team’s needs. Helen always puts her team first, appreciating their contribution and commitments outside of work. She has consistently proven that if her team shines, she shines. Most importantly, Helen has an incredibly strong moral compass. She does what’s right because it’s the right thing to do for the individual.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
In my experience, creating a culture of kindness comes from putting people first, appreciating their contribution and understanding their commitments outside of work. It’s about demonstrating gratitude and thanks for the work they do whilst championing them to progress and grow personally and professionally.

It’s even more important to demonstrate and model this actively during periods of work when all the team may not be physically present.

The way the team see how you operate and treat individuals has an impact on the way they relate to colleagues and improves their relationships with clients and customers

Harriet Moore

Student Union Manager, Arts University Plymouth
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Harriet took on her current role of Student Union Manager during the pandemic – and had to step up quickly to ensure the wellbeing and safety of students and staff at Arts University Plymouth. She is passionate about the community and city and has worked with numerous charities, fundraising for Breast Cancer Now and Shekinah, a charity supporting the homeless. Harriet has also spoken on diversifying and broadening student representation and fostering a more connected student community, and she has won numerous awards for her work.

“Harriet puts students before all else, and goes above and beyond to support the entire student body. During the national lockdown, Harriet ran a food bank from her home so that students did not lose access to this vital support, packaging and delivering food parcels across the city to vulnerable and self-isolating students as well as those experiencing financial hardship. Harriet also started the Period Poverty Project, acquiring funding to allow period products in all toilets across all campuses, so that students could access these for free and period poverty did not impact their education.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
My personal ethos is around creating positive change, and I feel that effective leaders have to be kind and understanding to support those around them. It is an absolute necessity for the job. Kind leaders see the good even in a bad situation, will support their staff in difficult situations, and will approach uncomfortable conversations compassionately.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
In my previous role at Student Union President, I made the decision to host our Student Union Food Bank from my flat so that students could still have access to this vital support during the lockdown period. This decision came out of kindness and concern for our students, and led to lots of positive local press stories, which raised the awareness of the work I was doing and in turn encouraged local people to support it in a variety of ways.

Harjot Singh

Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann, McCann Worldwide Group
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Harjot is a global leader, strategist, educator and activist whose thought leadership and research have offered a much-needed guide for the industry, brands and the wider business world. In his role at McCann, he champions creativity as a means of driving the business forward, harnessing insights, intelligence, live data and research to make sense of the rapidly-changing landscape. Harjot’s work has enabled the business to adapt, act nimbly and provide the best solutions and support for its clients and people.

“Harjot is known for his tireless advocacy of the commercial and creative advantage of embedding greater diversity in the industry. He has been instrumental in safeguarding our leading reputation in creativity and effectiveness. Amid the ongoing disruption brought about by the pandemic, he stepped up to envision and deliver key strategies to help us and our clients quickly adapt and navigate this toughest of climates. As such, he has enabled us to lead cultural conversations, grow business, and provide actionable insights and solutions.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Creating a culture of kindness starts with embedding the power of kindness across the organisation's value system and operating system. Kindness should be a pre requisite among leadership and a pre requisite for career advancement across every level. This means we need to establish accountability towards kindness by making it part of the kpis. Like all kpis, we also need to create the opportunities, and tools to encourage practice, demonstrate, recognise and appreciate acts of kindness across the organisation and among all stakeholders. Being deliberate in the way we recognise and reward kindness across the organisation should be part of the operating strategy.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE

Chair of Trustees, Randal Charitable Foundation

A business leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Nik is Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals – established in the 1990s as a home garage startup and now one of the UK’s leading life sciences businesses. In 2017, together with his wife, Moni, he founded the Randal Charitable Foundation, an organisation that has directly saved over 195,000 lives and improved more than 372,000 lives in the UK and globally. Nik also sits on several national boards and advisory groups and regularly advises the government on international trade, life sciences and social justice topics.
“Dr Kotecha’s outlook on life is heavily influenced by his humbling childhood experiences of coming to the UK as a refugee from Uganda in 1972. His pharmaceuticals business has been guided from the beginning by his dream of ‘making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality throughout the world’. Since its 1991 inception, Morningside has supplied essential medicines to international aid organisations, reaching over 120 countries. He has dedicated his life to giving back; through extensive corporate social responsibility activity and through his Foundation’s focus on addressing global health, mental health, poverty, addiction and education.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Giving back to communities in the UK and globally has always been at the core of my own personal mission, when establishing new business ventures. As an entrepreneur and business leader over the past 30 years I have also ensured this ethos has been central to my companies’ mission and values, which in turn brings about important non-financial benefits for the business, our people and society as a whole.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
The culture of a business always comes from the top, and must be lived and breathed every day by an organisation’s leadership. It’s important that businesses separate kindness and community related activities from commercial targets. Often these activities bring about great benefits, which support commercial activities in terms of motivating teams, as well as aiding employee recruitment and retention.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
On a personal note, my family came to the UK 50 years ago as refugees, after the Ugandan Asian community were expelled from the African nation by the Dictator, Idi Amin. We came to the UK with nothing but a few suitcases of belongings, but thanks to the kindness of organisations like the Red Cross and the British people, we were able to re-settle as a family in Leicester. I will forever be indebted to the kindness of others, who helped ensure we were able to start a new life together in safety. From a business perspective, my Foundation, the Randal Charitable Foundation, is so called because of the kindness and love of Mother Randal. My family were helped a great deal as we re-settled in the UK, which is why my family felt the need to pay tribute to her memory in this way. Our mission is to directly save over 1 million lives in the UK and globally. I’m humbled that this is being achieved in her memory.

Dr Heather May Morgan

Lecturer in Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen
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Heather is a lecturer in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, and holds multiple qualifications in law, philosophy, gender studies, sociology and criminology. To date, she has secured research funding totalling over £1.6m, and has been the lead author of over 30 peer-reviewed papers and two edited collections. Heather also co-created Aberdeen’s original augmented reality game for iOS devices.

“Heather’s kindness is evident in both her lecturing and supervision of students. She draws out the best in students, which has led to multiple successful projects like the Female Genital Mutilation Education Project, which Heather supervised. Her team collaborated with partners such as Public Health England to create a FutureLearn course on FGM for healthcare professionals. She conducted most of this work in her free time, balancing her full-time lectureship and other commitments.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
"Kindness is essential for all forms of leadership to be effective because ultimately it shows that you care. Kindness, care and compassion enable connection on a basic human level. Connection is the foundation for fostering equality, trust and mutual respect. These are all necessary for successful relationships, upon which all and any work relies. Kindness emphasises personal qualities and interactions as central to work. It recognises that people and their feelings are at the core. Kindness in leaders requires the privilege of using your expertise, experiences and role to advocate for others, identifying ambitions in and opportunities for them… and inspiring and supporting them to thrive. When individuals thrive, we all thrive.

Dr Alice Bunn OBE

Chief Executive Officer, Institution of Mechanical Engineers
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After becoming a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Alice took the role of the institution’s CEO in 2021, where she aims to improve the world through engineering by focusing on values of inclusivity, impact, innovation and integrity. Prior to this role, she was International Director at the UK Space Agency, where she was responsible for increasing the UK’s global influence on science, security and trade through space. Alice also sits on the US Space Foundation’s Board of Directors and on the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Space.

“Alice is one of those people who makes you feel better after every meeting. Her empathetic approach coupled with her drive to deliver means she creates nurturing and empowering environments that make success possible. She radiates enthusiasm, makes time for people at all levels, works hard to build trust and leads with such genuine and instinctive behaviours that you can’t help but feel supported. Around her, you will only find loyal and collaborative teams driving meaningful change. Alice is a reminder to us all that you can be driven and have clear ambition while also being kind, fair, generous, and fun.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Make sure every day that you say thank you or give kudos to 3 people who you don't normally interact with day to day.

Debbie Lawrence

Group Head of Data Strategy and Management, London Stock Exchange Group
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Debbie heads up the Data Management and Strategy function at the London Stock Exchange Group, leading a global team who was recently named ‘the beating heart of the organisation’ by the Group CEO. Throughout her career, she has been a passionate advocate for data and data experts as well as a leader many aspire to be, and a role model across the organisation: Debbie’s authenticity, humility and genuine interest in people have won her respect from the team, stakeholders and customers alike.

“Debbie stands out as a one-of-a-kind leader. She is undoubtedly a strong woman, passionate and business focused, but one who delivers by fostering meaningful relationships, elevating others, and showing unparalleled openness to people. Debbie leads by example, not afraid of being vulnerable and honest in difficult times. Her humanity and compassion for her teams gives others strength when it is needed most. She has a true gift in caring for the people around her like no other leader I have worked with in the last 20 years.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Over the years I have led many teams of varying size, geographic footprint and culture. And what stands out for me as the most important tip is curiosity. Show a real interest in the people that work for you so that they know that you see them as a person not just as an employee. Remember their names, whether they have children or not, what drives them etc. That knowledge then allows empathy, recognition, celebration at the appropriate time. For example in an interview I always ask 'how would you mother describe you'. It's amazing what insights you get from just that question.

Daniel Haydon

Former Director of Research Institute, University of Glasgow
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As Institute Director for 12 years, Dan was one of the university’s longest-serving directors and actively nurtured the institute’s growth, more than doubling its number of 140 staff and postgraduate students. He managed a large and diverse group of academics while generating an ethos of togetherness and inclusivity; indeed, much of his success is attributed to consistently supporting early-career scientists and retention of staff through his generosity, openness and exceptional ability to generate a feeling of belonging.

“Dan supports staff at all levels with generosity, fairness, and respect, leading by example and reinforcing our reputation as a great place to work. This is evidenced by many junior academics bringing Fellowships to the Institute, which could be taken to any leading global institutions. He has a 100% success rate in supporting permanent positions for Senior Fellows. His leadership is inclusive, embracing diversity and equality, strongly promoting a collaborative ethos.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work (this can be online too!)
I distinguish between personal kindness and what we might call ‘organizational kindness’ – good policies and working practices. The latter are massively important, and scalable. Without them, kindness can become a sort of vacuous apology for organizational dysfunction, but forcing that kind of organizational change is hard. However, the small things really matter – in fact its small things that often bother people the most, and they are the easiest things to fix. Getting those right I think signals to people you are paying attention, looking out for them – no problem is too small if it matters.

Chloe McMahon

Strategy Director, RAPP

Chloe joined RAPP as a senior strategist nearly six years ago, and has since been promoted to Strategy Director, where she leads a team of strategists across the IKEA and Virgin Voyages brands. She has thrown herself into the culture of the agency, participating in sports teams, DISCO (the diversity and inclusion steering committee) and sustainability initiatives, and has been integral in reimagining the culture in the company’s new merged, hybrid world. Chloe is also in the final stretch of studying for an MSc in Management and Leadership.

“Chloe’s leadership style is open, available, and present. She shares her own experiences openly to build trust and rapport with her colleagues and team members, helping them share openly and feel comfortable taking risks. She’s generous with her time and makes herself visible and present – both virtually and physically in the office. She’s also a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, often nudging the team to attend events or get involved in relevant initiatives, and leading by example herself.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
I think showing kindness makes for effective leadership because it sets the tone and expectation for the entire team, and wider business. It helps create an environment where people feel confident to be themselves, which means they more readily offer new ideas without fear of 'getting it wrong' or feeling its not their place. It means people collaborate more effectively because they have built relationships with their colleagues and are comfortable reaching out for help and support. And ultimately it makes for a place where people are broadly happy to come (whether that's physically or virtually) to work everyday, and in my experience, people do better work when they're happier doing it!

Carrie Briggs-Jones

Enterprise Agile Transformation Coach/Lead, NatWest Group
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Carrie is an Agile Coach Lead at NatWest Group and part of the leadership team responsible for supporting Agile transformation across the business. She has an inquisitive and people-centred style, and is quick to establish and build trusted relationships with individuals and teams she coaches and works with. Carrie is also an active member of NatWest Group’s Gender Network, mentors colleagues within the business and volunteers her time as a mentor at a local charity.

“Carrie embodies kindness with her consistent leadership style that focuses on checking in on her team’s welfare and always making time for her team. She always thanks her team for their hard work and ensures everyone feels recognised and supported. She leads by example to ensure her team has a good work–life balance which helps keep energy high… Carrie promotes learning opportunities for the individuals in the team, even when this may mean them leaving the team.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
I'm not sure you can lead effectively without kindness. For me, leading people is a both responsibility and a privilege so in order to enable people to be the best they can be, of course there is challenge but there must also be kindness and respect towards that individual; who they are, what they know, what matters to them and their perspective on the world as they experience and view it. I think to get the best out of people and help them to lead their best lives, you must have and show genuine care and kindness towards them and encourage them to do the same towards others.

Carol Reay

Chairman, National Family Mediation
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A pioneer in the advertising industry, Carol went from MD during the 1980s to CEO at leading UK agencies in the 1990s, becoming the first woman in advertising to have her name above the agency door. She is currently Chair of the Advisory Board at ProQuo AI (an AI-powered brand management platform), Non-executive Director of Quiet Storm Agency and an executive member of Women in Advertising and Communications Leadership. Carol also serves as Chair of the National Family Mediation Organisation and was formerly Chair of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

“Carol has achieved great success not just for herself, but also for her businesses, the NGOs she leads and anyone who works with or for her. A female pioneer within the advertising industry, Carol achieved huge success through her empathy, generosity, and compassion, even when the dominant culture and expectation of successful leadership was the very opposite. She inspires kindness in others too, both as a role model and as an active advocate for this new model of leadership.”

Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
How I nearly crashed out of advertising on my very first day! My first boss was away on jury service on my first day. I had therefore to do a client meeting with her boss who was an MP and a token figurehead person in the agency. I was terrified and spent the whole client meeting in a haze of confusion. Afterwards the MP told me to write a ‘creative strategy’ and get it into the ‘creative department’. I didn’t know what either of those things were. I spent the rest of the lonely day trying to find out without success. I decided the best thing was to leave at the end of the day and never come back! At 4pm my actual boss arrived post jury service. She introduced herself and started explaining things to me. Even though she didn’t know me she suddenly stopped and asked me what was wrong. I blurted the story out feeling like a complete idiot! She laughed heartily. Marched into the MP’s office and shouted at him so I could hear. He was her boss! Then came back to me and asked me all about myself. She helped me with the tasks and all was better than well. She kept me in advertising, and I later went on to found my own advertising agency which made it into the top 20 ad agency list. She was kind!

Anita Bharucha

Chief Operating Officer, Smith School of Enterprise & the Environment, University of Oxford
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Under Anita’s leadership, the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment has grown exponentially to become the foremost global academic centre for businesses, governments and nonprofits seeking rigorous expertise on net zero sustainable development and climate change. Anita also serves as Chair of the Police and National Crime Agency Pay Review Body, sits on the board of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and was previously involved, as a senior civil servant, in brokering the Good Friday Agreement.

“Anita blends empathy, respect (valuing and empowering the whole person in their own right) and generosity of time with fairness and consistency of kindness (to all, at all times). Due to her humility, perception, and self-awareness, each of her decisions and actions are intentional, by choice, and never reactive. She has fostered tremendous connectivity and collaboration, fostering a sharp and proud sense of inclusion and belonging in what is a unique, lively, and thriving organisation.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness is at the centre of effective leadership and a successful organisation. If we try to act with compassion, sensitivity and empathy, everyone benefits. People come to work to do their best and often we don't know what else is going on in their lives. So why not make it as easy as we can for them to succeed and thrive?

Alice Chilver

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, WHEN
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Alice is also Founder and CEO of Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN), which unites over 5,000 women in accelerating change. Alice is also Head of Organisational Development at the University of Oxford, where she leads strategic programmes that enhance the culture, leadership and management of one of the world’s most highly regarded workforces. Prior to this, she was UCL’s Director of Organisational Development, where she delivered organisational change at scale and advanced equality practices.

“Alice is a breath of fresh air in higher education leadership. She boasts an impressive career trajectory within the UK’s leading institutions. These professional accolades and undeniable intellect are matched by her dedication to live her values and advance inclusivity across her organisation and the sector. Alice’s approach inspires others; she also commands the respect and draw of senior leaders and sector bodies who recognise her vision and wish to associate with, champion and support her work to deliver positive change.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Leadership is all about relationships, good relationships are all about conversations and kindness. In my experience brilliant leaders are some of the kindest people and take time to understand and support others.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
It's small thoughtful gestures that build up to create a culture of kindness at work. Saying hello, goodbye, thank you, would you like a tea. Showing interest, offering support.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
Someone at work, having seen that I was pregnant, one day presented me with a blanket that she'd knitted for my baby. I didn't know her but I will never forget her.

My boss got me a card and a gift to say thank you for completing a big project, it was really unexpected but I felt really valued by her.

Alexandra McKenzie

Deputy Director Northern Ireland Policy, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
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Alexandra is a career diplomat who has spent over 20 years with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She has been posted to Beijing, Paris, Berlin, Singapore and Bangkok, in the latter two as Deputy High Commissioner and Deputy Ambassador. During her London postings, she has worked on EU Enlargement and as Deputy Head of the Southeast Asia Department. She is currently on secondment to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as Deputy Director of Northern Ireland Policy.

“I was privileged to have first met Alex in 2015 during the National Funeral for Singapore’s Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew which was attended by then Leader of the House William Hague and from that very moment I knew that she was a woman of purpose and focus and as I got to work with her when she was Deputy High Commissioner, this sense of purpose and focus was ringed by a deep sense of kindness and concern for her colleagues. I learnt a lot from the way she worked about being accommodating and delivering work in a positive and productive manner. She maintained this sense of duty even during the time she was expecting her second child and when Singapore was experiencing the impact of the Zika outbreak.”

Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
Being a public servant is about doing your best to make life better for people. It’s about working through complexity, strong emotions and political sensitivities. Leading through this with kindness brings empathy and understanding, which helps navigate those challenges better. And public service is all about the people who do this: working hard every day to deliver strong, effective public services and work in the UK’s national interest. Leading with kindness is a way of recognising their dedication and purpose. Ways to create a culture of kindness at work might include: - Investing time as a leader to take an interest in people and their concerns. Make the most of moments to connect with people.
- Creating different ways for people to honestly share their thoughts and feelings, acknowledging that different people will prefer different ways to do this. Leaders need to be accountable for acknowledging and responding to feedback – make changes.
- Recognising and rewarding kindness through organisational bonus schemes, to show that kindness is valued and to create role models.
- Being a good egg. Set an example from the top and be aware how tone, style and behaviour impact on others.

Alex Holmes

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, The Diana Award
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When Alex was just 16, after experiencing bullying himself, he founded Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, a network of trained young people dedicated to preventing peer-on-peer violence and bullying, particularly in schools. The programme has trained over 35,000 young people in 4,000 schools across UK, Ireland, Greece, and the US. Alex sits on the global safety advisory boards of major technology companies (Twitter, Twitch, TikTok, Yubo, Meta), advising on their approach to safety and online harms. He is a Queen’s Young Leader, Forbes 30 Under 30, and sits on The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Advisory Board.

“Alex speaks humbly about what he has built… but it is a huge testament to him how much he managed to achieve from challenging beginnings, suffering extensive bullying and racism. His ability to reach across the bullying divides (to include those who have suffered, those who have bullied, as well as friends, onlookers, family and teachers) shows the approach that Alex takes now as a leader on the global stage.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
At The Diana Award we believe young people have the power to change the world, and exist to empower young people to make that positive change. Without kindness we cannot expect our young people and future generation to make the world a better place.
We work hard to ensure our staff, our young people and our partners display kindness so that future generations can be the kind, compassionate and effective leaders we need to see in the world.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
For us at youth charity, The Diana Award, a legacy to Princess Diana's belief that young people have the power to change the world, Diana embodied Kindness. Her acts of kindness shifted attitudes, changed behaviours, removed the stigma and darkness that many of society's issues had. It is Diana's kindness that inspires many of us who work at the charity, many of our young Diana Award recipients and is clear to see in our school and youth programming where we tackle big issues like mental health, racism, bullying and more.

Al-karim Nathoo

Chief Executive Officer, 4C Group

During his seven years as Chairman of the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board, Al-karim has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of young people within the Ismaili community in the UK and Europe. He has spearheaded over 25 camps for youth between the ages of eight and 18, helped facilitate one-to-one mentoring for over 75 vulnerable young people, and organised large-scale health and wellness activities for over 4,000 participants. Al-karim fulfils this role on a voluntary basis; his formal employment is that of CEO of the 4C Hotel Group.

“Al-karim is authentic in his leadership style. He is transparent in his approach, open and honest with board members, and demonstrates his passion for enhancing the welfare of youth within our community daily through his actions. He is also generous with his time; he understands that building future leadership capacity is a critical part of his role and he takes time to nurture and coach other board members so they can fulfil their potential. Importantly, he empowers his board to make decisions, make mistakes, and ultimately learn.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
I have always been brought up that it is our duty as human beings to be kind, to help one another, as well as contributing to, and encouraging in the effort of leaving the world in a better condition than it which we received. Leadership today is undoubtedly more challenging than ever before. Simultaneous disruptions are profoundly increasing the complexity of a world already difficult to predict and navigate. In this environment I believe more so than ever that kindness is the essential quality for today’s leaders especially so in this new era of leadership we are entering. It’s also a new and powerful form of currency: one that we can trade for loyalty, trust, and high performance.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
It is essential for the leadership to prioritise fostering a culture of kindness and embody the values needed for this type of business culture. This includes values such as trust, empathy, respect, honesty, and compassion. By leaders modelling these values, team members will be positively influenced and so will the business culture overall. A cycle of kindness will begin to develop and will help the culture of kindness to grow and develop. Encouraging kind behaviour is also important, with internal emails celebrating people’s acts of kindness being useful. Furthermore, setting aside particular days of the year where the company and team members can be encouraged to render voluntary service, and give back to the community can help to work towards a culture of kindness.

Akua Opong

Senior Analyst, LSEG

Akua is a senior analyst within Service Management at the London Stock Exchange Group, as well as a driving force for diversity and inclusion in STEM – within both the LSEG’s Technology division and the company at large. Akua is also the LSEG’s UK Lead for the Ability Network and Community Lead for the Women’s Inspired Network, an active member of the Black Employee Inspired Network Group, a Mental Health Champion for Wellbeing and a mentor for company interns and graduates, helping them in their career development.

“Akua is a driving force in Technology and Diversity & Inclusion at LSEG… who works tirelessly to strike a balance between helping others find their purpose and meaning, and helping them effectively perform their jobs… In the last year, she was featured in Investment Week and Forbes and served as a panellist for One Tech World Conference 2021, discussing Harnessing Neurodiversity in Tech. She is also a mentor working with the founder of Cajigo, Rav Bumbra, to encourage 10,000 girls and women to go into STEM careers and offering career advice.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Kindness is a quality and when applied to a people leader, who effectively acts as a coach and a role that would help improve the performance of their employees. A leader that brings smiles and warmth to help others to achieve their best, as well as reach their aspirations shows a generous side of a leader. This allows individuals to generate great ideas through creativity, share meaningful connections and give their time to put full commitment into projects. Building connections is important to leadership.
Please share any tips on creating a culture of kindness at work
"Oprah Winfrey once said that “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” In empowering others to succeed, kind leaders create an organisation that enables the organisation as a whole to succeed.

There are eight top qualities of an effective leader: communication, confidence, positivity, fairness, honesty, commitment, inspiring and humility. As a leader, you should lead by example with integrity, show how you appreciate your colleagues and give them credit for their work. Another important aspect of a kind leader is to be supportive of different circumstances.
Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
During the pandemic, I signed up to be a Mental Health Champion alongside my role as a Community Lead for LSEG’s Women’s Inspired Network (WIN) and this help me learn to show others kindness. At LSEG, the Wellbeing team created a network of Champions where we could provide support to colleagues during Covid and prior to returning to the office. We tried to support colleagues during tough times and built a great community.

Also, arranging charity initiatives and giving donations to charities made us collectively come together. This was important as it enabled us collectively to help the charities that suffered due to the pandemic. They needed some support and kindness, as a collective at LSEG we were happy to provide this. We never know how others are struggling, so a warm smile or hello helps raise someone’s spirits. The key importance was being human-centric by a note, email to cheer someone up, making someone laugh, arranging a coffee chat, sharing cakes for a charity fundraiser and giving back via volunteering days. This is central to the LSEG values and makes a huge difference for the company.

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards

Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force
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After joining the Royal Air Force through a sixth form scholarship scheme, Simon rose through the ranks in a number of senior positions over the past 30 years. Prior to his current leadership roles, he commanded the RAF’s C-17 Squadron; led No.904 Expeditionary Air Wing at Kandahar Airfield; and served as Station Commander for RAF Brize Norton, home to over 7,000 service personnel, civilians and contractors. Throughout his career, Simon has advocated for the Whole Force, championing everyone’s contributions equally, regardless of rank or background.

“Relationships matter to Simon. He remembers hundreds of peoples’ names; he checks to make sure he’s not breaking his team before he agrees to new tasks, and he fosters a culture in which people speak truth to power and aren’t afraid to challenge. In a strong command and control environment, he makes time to listen and consult – even if that means pushing back deadlines. He is skilled at bringing together diverse teams to work together in pursuit of a common goal, motivating people to do their best even when it’s well outside of their normal responsibilities.”

How is kindness relevant to effective leadership?
Leading with kindness is simply leading with consideration - putting yourself in the shoes of others and asking yourself what they need if they are to get things done. And this includes how they will feel about it - especially if it will be difficult or challenging. Taking the time for that - including finding out by asking and listening - can lead to some remarkable conversations about what the challenges might be and how to address them. You end up with a better plan, with better buy-in, better commitment, better energy, and better results.

Afua Kyei

Chief Financial Officer, Bank of England

As CFO at Bank of England, Afua is the Executive Director for the Finance Directorate; a Director of the Asset Purchase Facility Fund and Alternative Liquidity Facility. Afua is one of the executive sponsors leading the Bank’s approach to climate change and is focussed on diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining Bank of England in 2019, Afua held finance director roles at Barclays, across numerous divisions.

“Afua has always supported her team in their dealings with stakeholders, and recognises where individuals need a change or time out, to help with their wellbeing.”
“She always thinks of the wider team, includes everyone in discussions and sends open invitations to our staff to join events with her.”

Doesn’t have any answers to the questions.

Abdul Goffar

Director UK, ACCA
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Abdul Goffar is the Director of UK at ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) his previous role was the Portfolio Head for the European and Americas region. Abdul is responsible for setting and delivering ACCA’s strategy for the largest market within the organisation. Abdul also has a wide ranging corporate experience having worked closely with some of the largest global organisations such as Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola and PepsiCo as a trusted adviser on organisational change, capacity, talent and training issues.

“Abdul invests his trust in people coming from different walks of life, offering all his team members a safe working environment and making us feel empowered, as we are offered space to create our own plans and execute them. The result is a team equipped and capable to support partners, members and students of the association, based across the globe. Abdul’s professional ethos inspires the team to build strong connections based on mutual respect, making it possible to achieve our professional goals while attending to our family’s needs during the pandemic.”

Please share an example of when kindness made a significant and lasting impact on you or your business
I recall in 2013 when my father was seriously ill and on life support at the time I was a more junior in the organisation but my line manager at the time told me to only work until lunch time. This is because she knew visiting time was 2 pm and I would want to collect my mother and visit my father each day. Even though I was in a client facing role to be offered that level of flexibility over a prolonged period of time genuinely made a major impact on me. My father passed away but I have remained at the same organisation since and have worked as hard as I can in order to deliver for them as the organisation showed me great kindness when I needed it. I have adopted this into my leadership style which is about delivery but with maximum flexibility and trust.