Kindness is one of Business Leaders’ Greatest Skills
Kindness is one of the greatest skills a successful business leader can have and will deliver mutual benefits and a positive impact on the workforce’s physical and mental health, says businesswoman and entrepreneur Dani Saveker.
“Kindness is for everyone, regardless of age, gender and background, and one of the most important characteristics of a business leader,” says Dani.
From being the Global CEO of The GLAS Group, an organisation she founded to help give structure to family businesses, teams and individuals, she has committed to embedding kindness into her own life and professional culture by carrying out a Random Act of Kindness every day.
“Organisational culture is based on choices and behaviour and so to deliberately design your culture in a positive way, you must incorporate kindness. After all, kindness also reduces absenteeism and improves productivity and so there is a clear business case for kindness in businesses, schools, and life in general.”
To test her theory and inspire colleagues, associates, family and friends, 1000 days ago on the 1st January 2016, Dani embarked on an experiment, to explore kindness and the impact of kind acts in society.
She carried out her first Random Act of Kindness that day and has completed one every day since, recording each act on her social media platforms using the hashtag #inspirekindness.
Dani clocked up her 1000th Random Acts of Kindness on the 26th September 2018.
As well as her ‘day job’ leading a growing business, Dani, a mum of three, has also designed and delivered kindness workshops to primary schools – just one of the thousand things she’s done since setting out on her kindness project.
“I had to define what I believed kindness meant at the very beginning. For me, kindness means to give openly, without exception or expectation, starting with yourself,” she explains, “and the act of being kind is proven to have a positive impact on your psychological and physical health and wellbeing, according to recent research by organisations such as MIND and the Mental Health Organisation.”
Kindness, says Dani, is a mindset that places compassion for others before their own interests, and performing selfless acts of kindness, for no other reason than to enrich and even inspire someone else and their life, is inspiring:
“The 1000 days have included a range of acts from paying for a stranger’s coffee, leaving sweets and a note on a stranger’s car at the supermarket, to sending notes to friends,” she adds. “I have so many stories of how a world of new opportunities and contacts have opened up to me since I started – including connecting with celebrities, incredibly courageous survivors of accidents, and some of the world’s greatest thought leaders.”
When starting out, she quickly discovered that people struggle to be, and receive kindness. She also found that many children she spoke to about kindness, felt that it was for girls only and was a ‘soft and fluffy’ thing.
“It has been quite a personal journey. I have learned much along the way, especially that kindness is good for your heart and head in every sense.
“Small acts of kindness and simply being kind really does lift your spirits, makes you feel happy, helps reduce stress and sadness, and opens up opportunities to connect you to others.
“My experiences over the last two-and-a-half years have certainly proved this to be true.”
To mark the 1000th act, Dani is launching the worldwide ‘Inspire Kindness Movement’.
“Reaching 1000 days of kindness is a major personal milestone, but the beginning of another chapter in this journey. With the launch of the ‘Inspire Kindness Movement’, my hope is the random acts of kindness concept will continue to grow across the world.”
Dani has designed a limited edition Inspire Kindness Kit to mark the 1000th day, which she hopes will be the basis for creating thousands more random acts of kindness, as she explains:
“Whether the Kit is bought or is gifted, it will give people a tool to help them embrace kindness and embed it into their every day lives. The kit gives some suggestions and ideas of how to get started with choosing kindness, with a challenge of completing 21 days of kindness – 21 being the number required to form a habit.
“We know the challenges of making time in our busy lives, but with its huge health and social benefits, we believe that kindness is real magic, and hope the Inspire Kindness Movement will continue to gain momentum and awareness and that being kind becomes a habit for more and more people.
“I don’t want this to be about what I’ve done, but if we can use it to inspire others and talk about and celebrate kindness more, then I’d be delighted.”
Follow Dani Saveker on Twitter @DaniSaveker, the campaign’s social media hashtags #inspirekindness #kindness1000 and Inspire Kindness community on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/inspirekindnessmovement