29 March 2023

Why human-centred, compassionate leadership improves productivity and profitability

Why leaders are making wellbeing a priority

Ask yourself, who am I, as a leader? How am I feeling these days?

Very simply, authentic leadership lives inside – who (and how) you are affects how you lead.

Jacinda Ardern, Nicola Sturgeon, and now YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki resigned from their leadership roles in the last few months. And there’s one common denominator: they’re all focusing on their wellbeing. 

Burnout is forcing great leaders AND employees to make career-ending decisions. Work and poor mental health have been linked for years, but now, leaders are making a stand. Their wellbeing is a priority, and they’re not scared to prove it.  

Human-centred leadership are considered to be 4x as high performing

 A Deloitte study which found that nearly 70% of C-suite executives are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their wellbeing. And this has got me thinking, could these resignations have been avoided?

Leaders bear the brunt of financial and people pressures, so who’s looking out for them? Who’s truly listening, championing and challenging them to reach their full potential and feel their best?

We have a built-in leadership bias of confidence over competence, authority before empathy and profit over purpose and it’s time to break that bias in this VUCA world we’re all in.

Thanks to a call for more compassionate, human-centred leadership — more leaders are being called to develop skills like adaptability, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, inclusion and humility, traits that are particularly valuable to navigating uncertain times and skills that are at the heart of leadership coaching.

Ego is a serious underminer of performance and it can creep up. We drive the notion of gratitude.” Mental skills coach for the All-Blacks Rugby team – Gilbert Enoka

All-Blacks Rugby team haka

This style of leadership is not just the right thing to do, but it supports a more profitable business. Businesses who put people first are considered to be 4x as high performing (Gartner).

Sadly, these important human-centred skills come more naturally to people than others.

Gallup goes as far to say that only 1 in 10 people have the skills required to effectively manage others.

So why aren’t we doing more to create these types of leaders and managers?

Coaching cements learning and improves productivity

We’re seeing more and more L&D programs and trainings for people skills but let’s not forget that in-class sessions only account for 10% of our actual learning. The good news is that coaching combined with training boosts productivity by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone (Personnel Management Association report).

I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities“.  – Bob Nardelli, CEO of Home Depot

What exactly is coaching?

 Are you successful at coaching your employees? Many executives are unable to correctly answer this question because they think they’re coaching when they’re actually just telling their employees what to do. Coaching is not an exact science but those who have received it will see improved:

  • Confidence in their leadership style
  • Productivity through discovery of self-beliefs, behaviours and accountability
  • Self-awareness and empathy towards others
  • Clarity of their vision, values and purpose in-line with the company’s
  • Tools to navigate change

And it doesn’t just stop with the coachee – coaching creates a ripple effect. Those who have experienced it will be better equipped to not just lead their teams but to even coach them too.

In summary, you can’t tell someone about coaching, you just need to do it.

Through our Consulting Suite, we help your leaders use their combined skills to create high performing teams. Using benchmarking and tailored programmes, they learn how to use their strengths as a springboard for organisational success. We help your leaders develop the resilience, confidence, emotional intelligence and effectiveness they need to engage entire workforces.

To help explore, unlock, develop and co-curate some fresh perspectives, people skills and drive action or whatever your objectives are, come and experience a free taster 45- minute coaching session.

Contact our head professional coach: Chloe Foy: chloe.foy@mccannsynergy.com



Chloe Foy, Behavioural Strategist and certified ACC Coach

Our people unleashing the power of your people

Chloe specialises in behavioural science and is a certified professional coach. She loves getting under the skin of a culture and creating more engaged, honest and open places to work.



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