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Lead With Kindness

Kindness (definition): the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. "it is a kindness I shall never forget"

I recently had a conversation with a young woman I work with. She is contemplating her next job and/or profession and I asked several questions to help give clarity to what she is wanting to do. I reflected on how I made decisions and what may have been helpful in discerning the decisions I made. The next time I saw her, I told her that I thought of a few questions she should contemplate: 1) What will my legacy be? What will I be remembered for? What influence will I leave behind? 2) How will it impact me? Am I who I say I am? Are my stated values reflected in my actions? 3) How will what I do impact others? Particularly, those closest to me.

Social media is littered with examples of people getting angry over seemingly small things that trigger responses that far outweigh the circumstances. We have even given them generic names of “Karen” and “Kevin” as entitled angry people that somehow feel they deserve to register their anger. Our lawmakers maybe the worst examples of blaming and cutting people with name-calling, racist language and outrageous claims and speculations. Deflection and lack of responsibility runs rampant today. Most all religions claim love, respect and caring to be the basis of how we should be with one another.

I was raised to be a kind, loving person (for the most part!) that recognizes the worth of all people. I spent over 35 years, professionally, living that every day. I wanted to leave people better than how I found them (or they found me). I wasn’t’ always successful, but that was my overarching goal. I didn’t want people to be, think and act like me, but to be the best (or better) version of themselves.

As I look back over my life, I hope my legacy involves being kind and loving. I know that I’ve hurt people along the way. I just hope that I have learned from my mistakes on treating people better. I’m shocked as to how we forget being kind can enter our lives on a moment-by-moment basis. How a perceived slight can trigger an outrageous and unnecessary response. What would happen if we could always lead with kindness?

When I am being my best-present-self, I try to treat others better than how I expect to be treated. Acknowledging others and treating them with respect and kindness is paramount to my legacy. I'm certain it will make me feel proud of whatever my influence is with those I come in contact with and I'm hopeful that I will inspire others to be kind.

What would life be like if we all left people with “it is a kindness I shall never forget?” My challenge is to bring kindness that they will never forget to the people I work with, train and encounter. Where can you bring kindness to people today?


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