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We film unbusiness-like conversations with leaders about values, purpose and leadership  We aim to generate a new conversation about the role of business in society.

The courage to be kind

May 18, 2018

 

The courage to be kind

 

Can we be competitive and be kind? Can business maintain a competitive edge and still remember that kindness is one of the rules of the game?

 

Perhaps the key to the game is courage – the strength to save a space for kindness in the everyday transactions of work and business. The philosopher poet David Whyte says courage is 'our heartfelt participation with life... courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.”

 

In this clip, Patrick McKenna, the founder of Ingenious Media, recognises why we sometimes need to be strong to be kind, how kindness can be misunderstood and why kindness in business matters. He says:

 

“maybe we think that being kind and being soft can be misinterpreted as being weak.... indeed you need to be strong sometimes to be extra kind and extra considerate.”

 

If it's the things that make us human that can make business better, perhaps finding the courage to be kind is a good place to start.

 

 

David Whyte quote from Consolations

 

 

Transcript

Well maybe we think that being kind, being soft, can be misinterpreted as being weak. I don't think they follow at all and indeed you need to be strong sometimes to be extra kind and extra considerate.

 

So I and I think yes business is competitive - there is a competitive element that you need to have and it is in most commercial environments about making profit you know. And profit is not a dirty word you know, it's something that makes the world go around - that's how we can improve our lives and profit leads to investment and reinvestment and that's you know, for the good of society.

 

But and I don't believe that anyone really needs to be unkind in being competitive - it's not to say there's not an edge that's required. Absolutely - but as long as it is within you know the rules, and when I say rules I don't mean hard and fast rules I mean in the spirit of sort of rules of engagement with other people - I think it's it was fine

 

 

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