Lead with Mercy
Nothing is forcing the person in power to show mercy to the person subject to his power. The world of business is not about salvation it’s about the bottom-line and soft, intangible words like mercy, compassion, patience, and forgiveness don’t really have a logical place in business. In a 24/7 global business cycle, leaders don’t have time for forgiveness – they are being held accountable for results, not compassion, by boards, customers, investors, and other stakeholders. I’m confident there is a compelling case for mercy in the world of business and especially amongst the leaders of business. It is especially compelling for leaders because we set the tone for culture and behavior in our organizations.
The case for leading with mercy is made even more compelling when you consider the common traits or characteristics often found in successful leaders. These characteristics do not guarantee successful leadership nor are they found in all successful leaders. A significant body of research as summarized in Bruce Peltier’s, The Psychology of Executive Coaching concludes that many successful leaders bear these traits that I associate to leading with mercy. Integrity: If I were asked to pick one trait most greatly associated with leading with mercy I would choose integrity. From leading by example, delegating responsibility, to encouraging risk taking the foundation is trust in the leader.
Vision: The capacity of a leader for organizational vision and to articulate that vision is a common trait amongst successful leaders and as we will discuss, clarity of vision is a key component of the Lead With Mercy framework. Phrases like compassionate management, managing compassionately, and conscious capitalism are rolling off the tongues of chief executives like LinkedIn’s, Jeff Weiner; and the blogs of leading business magazines like Harvard Business Review.
Chameleon Cold Brew: Quality Starts with Compassion, A Story of Coffee
Manufacturing iPhones is a world away from producing coffee, but there are many lessons to find in a cup of coffee. Like the cherry from which our morning brew derives, the story of coffee peels back in many layers until at last there is the bean. One layer in coffee’s story hints at this distinction between buying quality and simply acquiring luxury, no matter what the cost. Smaller producing countries like Peru are increasingly focused on providing specialty-grade coffee to a growing market demand. Averaging only 3 hectares, the typical Peruvian coffee farm produces shade-grown, hand-picked, sun-dried beans, using natural fertilizer to maintain a density of about 2000 plants per hectare at an elevation of between 1000 and 1800 meters.
The beans must be properly dried, cupped, Q-graded, and assigned nothing less than an 80 on the Q system developed by the Coffee Quality Institute. Done consistently by dedicated farmers, the process of producing high-quality, organic or specialty grade coffee can be the model of quality we seek. As coffee spread, so did new ideas, as they circulated across the proliferation of coffee houses across the old and new world. From the morning sludge we consume at the office, purchased in bulk at Costco, to the finely tuned aromatic brew shared with a friend at a trendy coffee shop, coffee runs through the veins of our social interactions. Arguably, the human cultivation of coffee, in turn, helped cultivate civilization A vigorous debate continues to this day about its origin story, but coffee cuts through human history like the legends of kings and long-forgotten civilizations.
There, we’ll meet the farmers, explore the land, and yes, drink the coffee. For CEO and co-founder Chris Campbell and his team, the story of coffee starts with a keen eye on quality.
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