Thursday, 15 December 2011


As a leader, are you able to deliver compassion and to support others in doing so?

"Does the agency, organization, or system you are in allow you to deliver as much compassion as you want?" Dr. Wheatley asked. "I would bet the answer is no." Indeed, she said, people in all types of work tend to enter their field with some type of dream - a sense of hope that by their labor, they will contribute to the benefit of some group in society. Citing examples as diverse as workers in dog food manufacturing plants and high technology research labs, Dr. Wheatley suggested that most of us really do want to work for each other. "It's in us, in everybody," she said. "It may be buried, but it is in us."

Dr. Wheatley asked the Leadership Institute participants to call out their dreams of what they might accomplish, at the time they took on their current professional positions. Responses included making a difference on behalf of the business community, improving child care quality, energizing good teachers, and integrating young people back into the community. Dr. Wheatley pointed out that no one mentioned fame or fortune. Instead, she said, "what brings you together is your compassion -- your dream of how to make a difference for good.

Excerpt from: Turning to One Another
Keynote Address: Kansas Health Foundation 2000 Leadership Institute, Spring 2000

Dr. Margaret Wheatley

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