Driven by Compassion is a compelling leadership text about meeting the needs of one’s employees and creating a healthier work environment.
David Zechman’s Driven by Compassion is a comprehensive blueprint for effective leadership within organizations.
The book opens by naming the eight values needed for compassionate leadership, including honesty, communication, and commitment. It mulls over the importance of each value and suggests that the audience consider how it has been implemented in their workplaces. The same questions were posed to those interviewed for the book; their responses appear at its end, so as not to influence the audience’s own responses.
After the book’s introductory work, each subsequent chapter focuses on a specific value, treating it in greater depth. The chapters describe what it means to put their focal values into practice, demonstrating what happens when such a value is ignored or underdeveloped in a workplace. Here, patience means being able to control oneself in public and in private; leaders who failed to exercise patience and who humiliated their employees over issues like poor performance in a given reporting period are held up as negative examples who failed to understand the long-term, positive potentials of their employees’ performances. The text cautions against getting similarly stuck in a single bad moment. In contrast, a positive example shows patience in action: a senior leader finds that an employee is not meeting expectations but applies patience and support and eventually secures the employee a position elsewhere, ending their business relationship on good terms.
The book goes beyond delivering advice for building a successful organization. Its approach is holistic and puts people first. With a focus on compassion and learning how to respect and value employees, it shows that effective leaders share the qualities of humility, patience, trust, and effective communication skills.
The book’s concepts are familiar, but they’re refreshed through the book’s balance of compelling examples with guidance for putting each value into practice. This is reinforced at the end of each chapter, where the key points are reintroduced in a concise manner, either via a short anecdote, by proposing a question to the audience, or in the form of a list of takeaways.
Presenting employees, contractors, and others who serve an organization as their business’s most vital, valuable part, Driven by Compassion is a compelling leadership text that shows how adopting a set of core values makes leaders more adept at meeting the needs of their employees and creating a healthier work environment.
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