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Leadership Quality Through Kindness

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In days past, loyalty was a given. The worker in past generations frequently remained with a company for his or her lifetime. It was not just a matter of a company town, it was an ethic ... the job was guaranteed by tacit tradition and in return for an honest day's work, the employee had the comfort of lifetime employment. Frequently it was an unwritten contract. Loyalty was universal and protection of the employee was fundamental and gratuitous. Employees spoke well of their companies and insured that quality service was given and excellence in product was achieved.

With the advent of a more troubled world, the intense focus of the corporate conglomerates on profits, the speed of communication, other technologies and a more permissive society we have drifted to a time of a created urgency. The perception of human value has diminished and with it, loyalty. So it is the rare enterprise that has leadership which, once again by example , demonstrates loyalty. Even in the compassion for profit must lie some allegiance to the folk who produced it. Employees still respond to kindness and loyalty.

I recently persuaded a business owner to pay a medical bill for a key employee, in an organization that does not provide a health benefit. The employee had been missing work due to an undiagnosed and debilitating ailment. I arranged with her to see a doctor. Then I "suggested" to the employer that he offer to pay the bill, which he did. When I related that to the employee, she was overjoyed. Obviously, one of the roadblocks for her was the cost of treatment. She could not wait to thank the employer and she is now "glued" to her job, with a loyalty reminiscent of days past. An isolated case, but an excellent example.

Weak leaders (and therefore ineffective) do, in fact, protect their own insecure positions by hoarding their control. It is a classic defense mechanism for dysfunctional leaders. It is a particularly difficult situation when the subordinate is strong and competent. That is one of those cases when corporate "politics" can fester into a nasty situation. Unfortunately, it happens.

Excerpts from a new book, "Looking for a Better World." Read more at:

Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.

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