Professor Heather McGregor among 50 kind business leaders

The Women of the Future Programme has announced its inaugural ‘50 Leading Lights’ list, in association with Lloyds Banking Group, recognising the contribution of kind leaders to business, the economy and society.

The campaign to celebrate kindness has been launched to challenge how business celebrates success. The business world is quick to praise leaders of profitable and productive workplaces. But these celebrations often overlook the role played by kindness.

2018 is the year we change the conversation around kindness in leadership. Kindness makes business sense; it impacts outcomes, whether it be productivity, engagement or customer service.

People do not forget acts of kindness.

Kind leaders change lives, transform organisations and foster true collaboration. Kind leaders inspire creativity and productivity, share meaningful connections, and give their time so that others can give their best. By empowering others to succeed, kind leaders create an environment for the organisation as a whole to succeed. We need to recognise the contribution of these leaders to business, the economy and society.

50 leading lights

‘50 Leading Lights’ showcases 50 leaders building a new status quo, impacting others through kindness. Our aim is to help tell their stories so as to inspire others and recast perceptions of ‘strong’ leadership. We want kindness to be seen as a strength in leadership, as a quality and a currency that empowers change.

Changing the status quo

In a period of uncertainty and rapid change, leaders come under pressure to be strong and to do 'what is needed'. Today's political and business climate is such a time and in response, we are seeing a resurgence of debate over what delivers effective leadership in a fragile environment. Kindness is a concept in the fray of this battle. Kindness builds trust, confidence and loyalty. But it can also be seen as soft; a 'nice-to-have' but not essential. We need to change this dialogue.

This debate is not limited to leaders - as technology and data create transparency and empower consumers, employees, regulators and investors, we are all able to determine the style of leadership that succeeds.

With this inaugural kindness list, we aim to showcase that kindness is not only a nice-to- have, but it does indeed deliver 'what is needed', with results determined not only by a short-term sprint, but by the long-term marathon.

Inaugural “Kindness and Leadership, 50 Leading Lights, in association with Lloyds Banking Group” list announced on International Kindness Day, November 13. See the full list here.