Life is Hard – Be Kind

By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO

As a leader, we will encounter many people today who have serious concerns in their lives.  Most will not tell us that they are distracted and suffering.  To us, it may seem they just aren’t fully engaged in the work we must get done.

Life is hard.  I can’t tell you why it is this way, but it is.  However, we can bring some kindness to it when we seek to understand why people are acting the way they are.  We can ask when we notice a colleague who seems “out-of-sorts”.  A simple question can open the flood gates.

How are you doing today?  No really, how are you doing today?  When we are genuine about our concern, people will open-up to us.  When we know their situation, we can lead so much better. Sometimes, when someone is struggling with a serious situation, I will send them home.  Other times, I will ask them how I can help them.  Just stopping and noticing they need help is what most people want.  They just want someone to care.  Be that leader who cares!

When I needed it, others have been there for me.  When my youngest daughter was deathly ill at a young age, many friends and work leaders cared for me.  At the time, I was the Executive Director of The Samaritan Center.  It was a tough job.  Each day we cared for homeless and people in need.  Each day I went to work with a heavy heart worried about Rebecca, my youngest daughter.  Would she respond to treatment?  Would I make it through the next day?  The very kindness of others sustained me and my young family.  I try to remember this when my colleagues at work have their own challenges.  What they need from me is my kindness and assistance.  Sure, the work needs to still get done.  But, is there a way to do it and still care for the person?  Most of the time there is – if you only look hard enough.

Consider this, you will likely meet or interact with someone today that could use your help.  Sometimes, it is very serious like a loved one who is sick or who is dying.  Other times, they are just distracted or worrying about a life situation.  In either case, seek to be kind.  Your workplace and our world will be better off because you did.  And, thank you for doing so.  Life is hard – we need a little kindness to help each of us through our day.

Looking for more? Download my Amazon Bestseller, Present-Future Leader:  How to Thrive in Today’s Economy.