Reflecting on our time in Philadelphia last week, I've remained captivated by - what I consider to be - the most impactful aspect of a trip like this: humanizing leadership. It's an opportunity to spend time with folks I want to know better, in a more informal and extended timeframe. We get to see one another relaxed, reflective, enthusiastic, and utterly human. And we are learning. How other cities work, how leaders in those cities think, communicate, advance priorities they are working on. It's really quite extraordinary. No matter the region, including ours, around us are other leaders who want to "do good" - even when we don't always agree on how to do it.
My greatest takeaways, every year, come from the people around me. And this year was no different. I've been thinking a lot about this idea that great leadership, humanized leadership, requires great empathy. Beyond intelligence, beyond skill. Empathy. Deep compassion for the lives and perspectives of others. And this empathy is required of us, no matter the response of others. Who do I want to be? How can I care for and value the people around me? Sometimes I think that we are SO busy, we are incentivized NOT to be curious. Not to care. Not to learn. And that busy-ness wears us out, drains our capacity for empathy.
So I encourage you to remain connected, both to those who help you recharge and to those who are affected by the power you wield. Stay connected, human. Because from that can grow more innovation, inclusion, and even success. It doesn't mean that I stop being a strong leader or an impassioned business person. I am, however, challenged to listen intentionally, and to extend empathy specifically to leaders around me I want to encourage - again, even when I don't always agree with how they do their work.
Something to think about...
We are so busy, every day, it's easy to miss
See you in the trenches,