It takes compassion to build a strong company culture and promote teamwork. Photo courtesy of

The straightforward answer is yes, you can. Now, that isn’t to say that it’s easy. Being compassionate in a world that requires you to be aggressively determined to succeed can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Being a leader who is concerned about the well-being of your customers and employees is free and yields real value for your business. Here is why you should adopt a compassionate leadership approach and how to get there.

Why be compassionate:

To get started, compassionate lifestyles lead to greater psychological well-being. Take it from Martin Seligman, a pioneer of the psychology of happiness and human flourishing, who suggests that meaningful connections allow us to enjoy improved mental and physical health. I get it—as a CEO you are wired for competition. However, neuroscience has demonstrated that acts of charity can be just as satisfying as winning. Becoming a compassionate CEO will make you a driver of genuine relationships between you and your employees, partners and clients. These relationships will benefit you in the long run when you are searching for encouragement and support. Plus, not only will your relationships improve, but these connections will promote compassion within your team. You may be wondering where that will get you as far as benefiting the business. It turns out, this can get you pretty far! Strong relationships will lead to a positive change in company culture and the way your employees communicate with consumers. When your employees know you are looking out for their best interests, their productivity and efficiency will increase because they will want to do whatever they can to help the team. Kind of a win-win-win, wouldn’t you agree?

How to change your leadership:

Now that you understand the advantages of being a compassionate CEO, it is time to figure out how to get there. The first thing you must do is change your interpretation of the word. Redefine compassion as a strength, not a weakness. This will allow you to push forward and grow from mistakes. Compassion provides you with the mindset to forgive and let go of errors in order to take that second chance. The next thing you can do is analyze who you are as a leader. Remember, there is room for kindness while continuing to remain direct with your team. You don’t have to utilize bravado to demonstrate your authority. In fact, you can make a better impression on your team by being compassionate and driven. Finally, create a collaborative environment by listening deeply to the needs and concerns of your employees and clients. You have a lot of things distracting you, but putting those aside to focus on the person you’re talking to will allow you to give meaningful responses. Just think about what can be gained from approaching competition with an open, compassionate mind.

You are the CEO, so you get to decide what kind of leader you want to be. Adopting a compassionate approach will improve your relationships with your staff and clients, thus improving productivity. Changing the way you lead might not be easy, but by redefining what compassion means to you, analyzing how you lead and creating a cooperative arena to work in you’ll have everything you need to drive your business forward. And it’s hard to say no to success.