“Compassionate Leadership: Getting to the Heart of What Matters”

How do you go from thinking you are at the top of your game to being completely disconnected? From having it all to realizing your grasping at thin air? I was in my ideal role with a great company, financially secure, and garnered the professional recognition other executives could only dream of. Yet, underneath my seemingly joyful driven exterior, I felt empty and lost. I was a fraud. How did I end up here?

Like most people on the planet, I spent the majority of my life feeling as if I never measured up. I was my own worst critic and second-guessed every move. People around me were none the wiser. I was making incredible strides professionally, yet I was so disconnected from my authentic self I did not recognize it or ever let the good stuff in. Stress had become a way of life, and it was becoming increasingly more difficult to fly under the radar. When my own VP pointed out that which I thought I was hiding so well, I realized something had to change or I would surely suffocate within my own façade.

One thing I had noticed over the years and wanted to emulate was great leaders are compassionate leaders. They trust themselves and lead heart forward always inspiring their employees into action, creating a symbiotic relationship that then builds the systems and structures needed for all to succeed. They cultivate a foundation of engagement through mentorship, establishing real connections, and modeling a mindset of abundance and gratitude. I learned that to embody this inspirational practice of compassionate leadership, I had to find compassion for myself first. I had to pause, take a deep breath and surrender my self-criticism for understanding and mercy. I needed to give myself a damn break! Although still a work in progress, this was without a doubt the most significant gift I ever gave to myself. The reward so many of us leaders deserve. The gift that changed everything, both professionally and personally.  My transformation has empowered others to trust themselves, take risks, and to lean into their creativity. It has improved critical thinking skills and increased overall engagement. Most importantly, discovering this Truth has brought me a sense of peace and joy. I no longer swing back and forth between the extremes of being a successful leader and being a compassionate human being. They are ONE.

Compassionate Leadership - Getting to the Heart of What Matters by Laura R. Leaton