Leadership is hard. How can you balance compassion for your people with effectiveness in getting the job done?
How to do Hard Things in a Human Way
by Rasmus Hougaard & Jaqueline Carter
Harvard Business Review Press, December 2021
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan)
A global pandemic, economic volatility, natural disasters, civil and political unrest. From New York to Barcelona to Hong Kong, it can feel as if the world as we know it is coming apart. Through it all, our human spirit is being tested. Now more than ever, it’s imperative for leaders to demonstrate compassion. But in hard times like these, leaders need to make hard decisions—deliver negative feedback, make difficult choices that disappoint people, and in some cases lay people off. How do you do the hard things that come with the responsibility of leadership while remaining a good human being and bringing out the best in others? Most people think we have to make a binary choice between being a good human being and being a tough, effective leader. But this is a false dichotomy. Being human and doing what needs to be done are not mutually exclusive. In truth, doing hard things and making difficult decisions is often the most compassionate thing to do.
As founder and CEO of Potential Project, Rasmus Hougaard and his longtime coauthor, Jacqueline Carter, show in this powerful, practical book, you must always balance caring for your people with leadership wisdom and effectiveness. Using data from thousands of leaders, employees, and companies in nearly a hundred countries, the authors find that when leaders bring the right balance of compassion and wisdom to the job, they foster much higher levels of employee engagement, performance, loyalty, and well-being in their people.
With rich examples from Netflix, IKEA, Unilever, and many other global companies, as well as practical tools and advice for leaders and managers at any level, COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP is your indispensable guide to doing the hard work of leadership in a human way.
Rasmus Hougaard is the founder and CEO of leadership development and consulting firm Potential Project. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and coach of C-suite executives at top global companies. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award, recognizing « thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject. » He writes for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Business Insider and is the coauthor, with Jacqueline Carter, of The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results.
Jacqueline Carter is a partner and North American Director for Potential Project. She has over twenty years of experience helping leaders and organizations manage change and achieve results. She is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Leader to Leader. She is the coauthor, with Rasmus Hougaard, of The Mind of the Leader.