Today is World Kindness Day 2018! In honor of the day and the topic, here’s a short excerpt from my forthcoming book on the topic of genuine kindness and the impact it makes in our leadership.
In writing my forthcoming book, Lead With Hospitality, I set out one morning to write a chapter on the topic of “courtesy”. I’m a big fan of courtesy. It’s so…courteous and all. Then I realized, one can be courteous – considerate, well-behaved, and well mannered – always saying the right things at the right times to the right people, but unless it’s coming from a place of genuine consideration for others, it’s an empty and meaningless gesture.
While being considerate and acting with common courtesy are certainly value-added traits, leading with hospitality moves people to move, with purpose and passion, because of a leader’s genuine kindness. In other words, when leaders are real and authentic as opposed to putting up fronts, trying to portray a certain image or persona for self-serving reasons, their teams become far more comfortable in their roles. When teams become comfortable in their roles, we’re well on our way to creating an environment suitable for them to crush it. And this is the point of leadership, as we’ve talked about earlier, inspiring and influencing people to give their best effort toward a specific, collective cause or goal.
In Harvard Business Review’s “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership”, Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer present the following, and I love the quote:
“No one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. You can learn from others’ experiences, but there is no way you can be successful when you are trying to be like them. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic.”
I’ve always believed Leadership is like Sales and Sales is a form of Leadership. Why? In order for a leader to be successful in leading anyone toward anything, and in order for a salesperson to be successful in selling anyone anything, they must both earn the trust of another. One of the quickest ways to earn trust is to simply be trustworthy. A genuine, kind person is certainly worthy of being trusted far more than someone who’s always “faking it until they make it.”
GiVE Culture is a San Diego based apparel brand which has tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and a few other trinkets which simply have “GiVE _______” (the blank is of course filled in with various, actionable and loving sentiments) prominently placed across the front. The “i” is lowercase, because to truly give anything is to put others first, before ourselves.
Their products say things like:
- GiVE Encouragement
- GiVE Thanks
- GiVE Hope
- GiVE Compassion
- GiVE Love
- GiVE Kindness
The first time I met them and their products was at a Food and Wine Festival in Orange County, CA. I met the founding partners of the brand, who told me their story. They were both former athletes and Christian people simply creating something to hold individuals accountable for their actions toward others. Together they’ve set out to “shine a little light on love” and “bring out the best in each of us, and to help us see the best in each other, no matter our differences”, as their website states.
I fell in love with them, their brand, and their cause right away. I bought three shirts – GiVE Compassion, GiVE Encouragement, and GiVE Kindness – on the spot. Their genuine compassion, encouragement, and outright love for people inspired me, and I wanted to be like them. I wanted in, as part of their cause. I wear my GiVE tee shirts proudly around town, when I travel, and even when I speak to audiences on Leadership, Teamwork, and Personal Growth.
You’re wondering what a lovey dovey Christian tee-shirt brand has to do with leading with hospitality. I tell you about GiVE Culture, the brand, because it’s a beautiful blueprint and illustration of genuine kindness. Leaders in business and in life should strive to create, inspire, and scale “GiVE Cultures” among their teams and organizations.
Kindness is Contagious
Kindness is Inspiring
Kindness Is Truly a Gift
The very definition of kindness, thanks to our friends at Dictionary.com, says it’s, “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Call me a nerd, but I also love their definition of generous – showing a readiness to give more of something than is strictly necessary or expected.
The beauty and underlying massive opportunity of displaying genuine kindness in leadership is that it can often be so unexpected! That makes it so much more impactful when people actually receive our genuine kindness. They’re not used to it. So, when we show up with kindness and genuine concern for them as humans, it’s amazing, well received, and special.
While that’s sad and proof we need more leaders leading with hospitality, it’s a huge opportunity to give of ourselves to our teams. The day to day doldrums of our jobs, the expectations, the pressure, and constant need to impress can clog up our minds. However, this shift in mindset to give of ourselves, is always well received. It’s not always noticed, nor is it always acknowledged, but it’s always well received. Our genuine kindness has the potential to inspire, help, encourage, teach, coach, improve, and enhance not only the work of others but also their lives.
Friends, this is simply our jobs, as leaders. At least it’s the job of those setting out to lead with hospitality.
That’s reason enough to GiVE kindness.
Have a great day.
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a tough battle you know nothing about.” – Anonymous
About the Author:
The Founder and President of Lead With Hospitality, LLC, Taylor’s worked for notable brands in hospitality including Disney, Wynn Resorts, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Gaylord Hotels, Disney Vacation Club, and more. He graduated from Florida Southern College, earning a BS in Business Administration. He also earned a Masters of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University. An author, inspirational keynote speaker, dynamic corporate trainer, and independent hospitality consultant, Taylor resides in beautiful Dana Point, California with his wife, Jenna.
Taylor is the author of the best-selling book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed as well a his forthcoming second book, Lead With Hospitality.