I am continuing work on the ‘Quiet Leadership Guidebook’ this week: the following is part of the section on Kindness.
Within Organisations, we are rarely touched by the weather itself: shielded by glass and air conditioning from the elements. Instead, we are battered by culture, by expectation, by convention, by ignorance, by complexity, by legacy, by opinion, and by our existing knowledge.
Earlier we considered our ‘intention’, our ‘action’, and our ‘impact’. Whilst they are related, then are not deterministic.
My intention affects my actions, and my actions cause impact. But my intention does not determine what that impact will be.
As we grow, as we find power and position, as we learn and change, to are subject to expectation, to peer pressure and review, to the views and opinions of others, as well as to our own evolving expectations of ourselves.
In general, it seems likely that we all wish to be kind, or at the very least, we wish to experience kindness in the actions of others.
A world where we had no expectation of, nor responsibility towards, kindness, would be a bleak one indeed.
And yet kindness is not the universal state: whilst we can spot bright lights in the landscape, they are not necessarily part of the everyday experience, not are they evenly distributed.
This is one of the themes that we will explore here: do we lack kindness overall, or, as we are battered by the wind and rain, does kindness become unevenly distributed, and only accessible to some.
To me, this seems most likely: only in rare instances do we deliberately set out to be unkind. But in many cases the experience of kindness is uneven.
Through this part of our journey into Quiet Leadership, we will consider why.