While many qualities come to mind with regards to leadership characteristics, kindness seems to be one that is overlooked.

Kindness may seem as a waste when it is under appreciated, but kindness. that is given from your heart is truly an investment.

The dividends of kindness may not be reciprocated right away, but in due time it will.

Aesop said “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

When you demonstrate kindness, you are exemplifying the very nature of leadership that has been so very forgotten and needed again. Today, the world is hurting like never before. The challenges many of us face remind us that we are all in this together. What one individual may be going through today, you may go through tomorrow. Never underestimate the value to what you can do today for someone that could very well return the favor unto you tomorrow.

If everyone were to display, act & show the treatment you give others today; unto you, would you be satisfied?

It might be hard to imagine how an act of kindness demonstrated today can dramatically impact someone’s life tomorrow, but that’s the beauty of it. Practicing kindness (random and intentional) is not about being seen or done with the expectation of something in return; it’s simply doing the right thing. No matter if it’s returned today or never again acknowledged, it is the very thing that displays your character and the person you are. If you’ve shown kindness and have been handed the wrath in return, don’t be discouraged or become bitter. You will be rewarded wether it be now, or later. It will be returned ten fold at one point or another. A wrath given after kindness has been shown, is not what determined your act; it determined the character of the one who was spiteful back. Keep posture and remember that kindness is a choice you are able to give unto others no matter the reaction that is returned. It is how one portraits their heart to the world, not a reward to be sought. William Wordsworth said it best “The best portion of a man’s good life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

Lead by example not for applause. We can not change the fact that people act a certain way, but we can pack with us a good attitude by choice and decide how we act and react everyday.

Attitude to me is far more important than facts, the past, than education, than circumstances, than money, than success, than failure, than skill, then ones gifts or appearance. It is more important than what other people think, say or do. It is important because it is your choice. If you choose to have a good attitude and a positive outlook above all these things, all these things will soon follow as a reward to that choice. Your attitude is what sets you apart from everyone else.

While you don’t have control of how another’s attitude is displayed, you have control on how yours is displayed. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn down to another person’s bad behavior by behaving badly yourself. Take the high road and never allow to lower yourself to the level of a difficult person. Great leaders understand that the right attitude will set the right atmosphere, which enables the responses and attitudes from others. When negative attitude is shown when difficult people surround you, take the high road because perhaps by being the higher influence with the right attitude others will follow you. Do not change your attitude to match the attitude of others.

Lead with heart and you will soon see the investment given from that kindness that never sought out a gold medal.

Role model what you would want given, wether it ever be gifted back to you or not.

Accept where people are. That’s right, you read that correctly. Accept them WHERE THEY ARE. Not where you wish them to be. Not where your standard is. Love people right where they are. Loving them where they are means seeing past the flaws, the bad, the mistakes, the failures and the wronged faults. You may see these attributes and assume they are bad people. They are not bad people, they are not ill intended. They may have made the worst decisions that brought in more bad decisions, that led to habits that turned to a reverse cycle of bad behavior, but they aren’t bad people. They are lost people, lost people who need guidance and direction. They are spinning in a cycle of bad decisions that led to habits that led to the lifestyle produced that they now have to live with until a drastic change takes place. They know no better. It is so easy to point out the flaws, the faults and the wrongs. The world does enough of that, stop tracing the same negative foot steps. This does no good for that person and absolutely does nothing for yourself other then exude bad character on your part. It’s time to challenge yourself and only speak the good into that person’s life (no matter how small it may be) if we found the good simple qualities (not appearance but actions) and made sure to acknowledge, reward and compliment them as often as possible; people would bring out MORE of that characteristic. Where as if we focus on the negative, the person is more drawn to bring more of that to the table and wallow in self pity. We are all guilty of having a negative self-talk. If you are constantly pointing out what is wrong of a person, their self talk is already doing that for them and now it’s been doubled. Stop speaking failure into someone’s life, We already have a natural tendency to self talk our failures as permanent circumstances that were never reality. Drop failure-talk to the curb. Start speaking LIGHT, LOVE and GUIDE people where they are already longing to be, they just need one person; one person to believe in them so they can have the permission to believe in themselves. It only takes one person, and you may be THE ONLY person to cross their path. We must have this mindset in every encounter we face with another, if we don’t.. we have unconsciously selfishly overlooked the kindness that ought to be given. We need no more critics, harsh, crude, hateful people. Disregard stereotypes. We need life-givers who are willing to lead by example instead of diminishing people.

Where a person has come from is not nearly as important as where you are leading them. Accepting people not only as they are where they are, but believing in who they can become is the first step to impacting their lives and ultimately impacting your own.

Your legacy you have planned to accomplish “one day” starts with today. The wonderful thing about legacy is that you are the one who gets to create it and determine when it starts.

You will not be remembered so much as to what you said but in more so what you did.

As John Wooden has said “True happiness comes from the things that can not be taken away from you. Making the full effort to do the right thing with great influence can never be taken away from you.”

Be a life-giver.

Pack up with you these leadership qualities with you daily to spread kindness in this dark, harsh world:

Be humble. Be genuine. Be positive. Be merciful. Be thoughtful. Be Forgiving. Give Grace. Spread confidence by giving compliments. Be kind. Be accepting. Stand tall so you can give others the permission to do the same. Speak whole heartedly so you may speak life into others and love above all else.