Sunday, March 20, 2011

Leadership Compassion

"At the end of the day, love and compassion will win."
                                                        Terry Waite
How is your compassion IQ?  Compassion is a leadership trait that is very hard to achieve.  I am a true believer that to receive you first must give of yourself.  Which reminds me of an experience that I had a few years back.  A few years ago I was volunteering at a Special Olympics and I was in charge of the running races in the Special Olympics.  We were getting ready for the fifty yard dash and my job was to get the runners to the starting line and explain that I will say runners to your mark, Get set and I will shoot the starter gun.  When I shoot the starter gun you are to run as fast as you can until you cross the finish line.  All of the runners nodded and said yes.  I could see by the looks in everyone’s eyes that they were very excited about being in the race.  At the finish line were the judges that would decide who the winners of the race would be.  As I watched the runners get into their starting positions I wished everyone good luck.  When everyone was in place I told everyone the words that everyone was waiting to hear.  Runners on your mark get set and then I started the race when I pulled the trigger on the starter gun.  All of the runners were out of the starting blocks fast except one of the runners who had started to trip and fell to the ground.  Then I saw something that I’ve never seen happen before, all of the runners stopped and came back to help up the fallen runner and then all of the runners locked arms together and crossed the finish together.  It was about finishing the race first but having the compassion to help a fallen comrade finish the race.  Mason Cooley once said “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise about ourselves.  Great leaders understand the importance of compassion and do stop to take a look at what is going on beyond themselves.
Robert J. Dahl is a respected leadership expert, keynote speaker and author who energizes and connects his audiences through inspirational stories. He speaks to leaders of organizations, teams and trade associations throughout the country - specializing in the topics of "Leadership Excellence" and "Leaders in the Making". Robert J. Dahl has written four books and a Leadership Education Program - "Coaching Excellence Rite of Passage". His mission is to help serve the people with compassion, empathy and understanding. He is committed to bringing balance and wellness through leadership training and coaching.  His blog can be read at He can be followed at