Monday Morning Motivations

Beyond “Pity City” to Wholehearted Leadership

Stephen Tang

It’s time to think about the type of leader you want to be. Recently, a CEO went viral for all the wrong reasons. During an online Q&A session with her employees, she made a comment about “Pity City” that was viewed as insensitive and dismissive. Let this be a cautionary tale to us all: Wholehearted leadership is essential in today’s world.

What do we mean when we say “wholehearted leadership?” At its core, it’s leadership with integrity and respect—where leaders recognize their humanity as well as that of their team members and practice empathy, humility, and understanding in decision-making processes. It encourages trust between the leader and his/her team and creates an environment where everyone can thrive.

Wholehearted leadership isn’t just about what we say, but also how we act. Leaders need to demonstrate that they value their employees and foster an environment of respect and inclusion. This kind of atmosphere enables teams to work together effectively to solve problems and reach goals.

Leadership starts with a genuine connection between the leader and the team. Great leaders don’t just talk about change—they actively create it by leading with empathy and integrity. They recognize their own imperfections and flaws while encouraging their people to rise above them as one unit pulling together. They strive for balance rather than extreme behaviors as “pollyannas” or “bossholes.”

By learning more about wholehearted leadership, we can all strive to become better leaders. Let’s use this “Pity City” experience as a reminder to prioritize our people and their needs as the means to inspire them. Only through wholehearted leadership can teams reach their true potential and achieve success in the long term.

If you’d like to learn more about a journey toward wholehearted leadership, please check out my book “A Test for Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal.” Here’s the link to buy it: Let’s work together toward a future of better and more effective leadership!

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