The Power of Self Belief
My mother always believed in the power of Paying It Forward.
Having lost everything in the Vietnam war, she had to restart her life after fleeing on a boat with her husband and a 2-year old baby (me). I had the privilege to grow up in Switzerland, the wonderful country that took us in and that I'm ever so grateful for.
The Philosophy of Pay It Forward
But in the beginning, it was also a strange, challenging and in particular, high-cost country for refugees like us. I witnessed how hard my mother worked and saved every single penny she could. But she hardly ever spent a cent for herself. It was always to help other people. She used to tell me: "Be humble and don't be envious of what others have. You will get the greatest reward if you pay it forward".
Concern and Empathy is The Soul of Leadership
There is no Leadership without the concern and empathy for the other fellow beings. The first thing my mother did when she arrived in Switzerland was spending almost half of the little money she had - a crumpled US$100 note that my father had wrapped in a cigarette - to send letters to the left-behind family members of her fellow refugees who could still not leave the boat. She wanted to let them know that their family members had survived. The boat had stranded at a coast in the Philippines, and many of the refugees were still stuck on it, waiting for asylum. When someone has very little and that too is spent to care for others is what real leadership is all about. The test of character and of leadership is usually seen during the crisis. Those who help themselves as well as have their hearts beat for others are actually leaders of those circumstances. They make your faith stronger in humane leadership.
Kindness is The Language of Humanity
Years later she received a letter from one of those fellow refugees. It said:
"I settled well in the U.S. and wanted to thank you for the letter you sent to my mother, so she knew that I and my children were still alive. It was the last thing she read before she passed away in peace."
Your Humane Leadership Matters
Most of us will never know the impact of our small acts of kindness. But keep in mind that they can make a world of difference for someone. My mother was right. Love is the greatest reward you can ever get in return.
Everybody has Leadership residing deep within their consciousness. The leadership of kindness, empathy and concern for our fellow human beings does not require any technical abilities. What it requires is the passion to feel the pain of the others in distress. Even smiling to others is an act of leadership in many situations. We can inspire and change so many people towards goodness with our humane leadership. Nothing inspires humanity more than humanity itself.
Lynn Räbsamen, CFA
You can connect me on LinkedIn at https: //www.linkedin.com/in/lynnrl