By Morgan International Staff Writers
This article is based on Simone Sinek very famous book called “Leaders eat last”.
Empathy is the most important leadership quality
What is leadership? Is is about telling people what they should be doing, what you need to be done and then making sure they do it? That’s what many people will assume to be the case, after all that’s what their boss is like. But what if empathy was the cornerstone of leadership ? How would that change the face of the usual business hierarchy?
We are actually biologically designed to put the needs of others ahead of our own. Any parent will tell you that - it’s innate. But it can extend to the workplace and often does - in great leadership.
Endorphins and dopamine are designed to make us stick to a task despite it being difficult - we push through barriers because the rush of feel good chemicals at the end makes it worthwhile. These are experienced individually. As a team however, the chemicals serotonin and oxytocin bring about a sense of pride in our work and how it is valued by others. It reinforces the workplace bond and helps to establish feelings of trust and empathy. These are incredibly powerful in a work setting.
Look around you at work and especially those in leadership roles. Are they exhibiting the selfish chemicals of endorphins and dopamine or are they taking advantage of the feelgood chemicals serotonin and oxytocin? Are they individual workers or collaborative? Who do you admire most and who would you follow when the chips are down? Put simply who offers you more empathy and who do you trust?
Good leaders have discovered that putting others first feels good and is a successful way to run a business. It results in loyalty and a sense of pride that comes from the top and the bottom. These are the leaders who ask their staff if they need help, if they are feeling valued and if they are happy and they are the ones who actually care what the answer might be.
These are the leaders who last and for whom success is more meaningful - interestingly they are the ones who achieve more success overall.