By Rose Yu, Assistant Director (Posted October 31, 2012)
I recently returned from participating in the Center’s first Academy for Leaders program where 32 leaders from around the nation gathered for a spring and fall retreat with monthly calls in between. During this last retreat, I received some very difficult health news that I chose to share and people responded with such tenderness and compassion.
Upon returning to work, I mentioned to my boss that I needed to go to a surgical consultation the next morning. A co-worker overheard, as I was speaking in an open area, and offered to come with me. I was torn about accepting her gracious offer and feeling guilty about taking up another colleague’s work time. As I was cogitating, my boss said, “I’m going to leave you two to let this beautiful moment evolve,” which was exactly what I needed to hear.
What I have seen over the years is that leaders and organizations profess that people are their most important asset and yet their actions often do not follow. Had my boss given any indication of his displeasure in my colleague accompanying me, I would have said "no thanks." Yet because he allowed me to choose unfettered, I could accept her support.
As leaders we can choose to live into one of the key habits of the heart, “We are all in this together,” by fostering caring and compassion among our staff. I believe Courage & Renewal programs offer a way into our core values such that our “better angels” may emerge. I am grateful that my boss happens to be the executive director of the Center —and that we walk our talk. Leadership matters and there is no better way to cultivate healthy employee loyalty than for leaders to lead with integrity.
Do you have examples of where leaders really walk the talk that you’d like to share?