Whilst discussing the use of my Compassionate Leadership Academy with a school trust leadership team in the UK we had a great debate about the word leadership in the context of their work.  The problem was the word itself. Leadership implies exclusivity, position, status, responsibility – it comes with baggage.  Previously I have suggested replacing the word leadership with relationship and then apply the work of the CLA. We all relate. We all influence. All I espouse is relevant for all.

Then one of the team, Jenny,  came up with the word “compassion-ism”. Brilliant!

Compassion-ism is all inclusive

Compassion-ism has not status, no position

Compassion-ism is an attitude, a language, a culture

Compassion-ism creates collective commitment

Compassion-ism creates spaces of well-being

The principle of the CLA is for all levels in an organisation to engage and create a coherent understanding and lexicon on what it takes to work together effectively, with collective commitment.  My work is for leaders, but it is for followers too. A leader cannot lead without followers, and a follower needs a leader to act.  How do we capture precisely where it is that the CLA can impact?

If, as a follower, I know the language and intent of leadership, I can assist my leader in being a more effective (compassionate) leader and so make my life, and their life, easier and our collaboration more productive.  If as a colleague I can help my other colleagues shine by having an attitude of compassion and utilising my skills of compassionate leadership then so we will all benefit. The attitude and skills of leadership are not the exclusive preserve of those in positions of leadership – it is for us all.

Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism – these are not religions they are philosophies, ways of living, ways of being, a code of morals and ethics guiding our actions & behaviour.  An “ism” is for all and is derived from ancient Greek meaning to “take side with” or “in imitation of”

To take sides with compassion! Love it.

In turbulent times – Compassionism HAS to be the new philosophy, the new ethical and moral guide, the new paradigm in our corporations, businesses and communities.

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