"I want you to go to the emergency room NOW," my doctor's orders were ringing in my ears as my stomach churned in knots. WHAT?
I was supposed to leave for Dallas in a week to meet with Visa International to negotiate fraud control provisions in our merchant services contract. My mind raced with thoughts... Who can go in my place? What about all the deadlines? Who will oversee the customer orders and revenue management operations?
Who is going to pick up my 3-year old son from pre-school? Where's my husband? Anxiety kicked in. My doctor found that I was bleeding internally and needed to drop everything to go to the emergency room. But, I felt that I had to take care of everything at work and my home first.
Fortunately, the company President was a charismatic and caring leader who walked around as a regular habit to stay in tune with employees at all levels. He always took the time to talk with us in a friendly, non-intimidating manner to see how things were going and if we needed any help.
He stopped by my desk and noticed that I just staring at my computer crying. "What's wrong?" he asked. I sobbed even more and explained my dilemma. I was quickly ushered out of the office and forced to take care of my health.
Without a Compassionate Leader who was willing to take a moment to show genuine concern, I would not have had the assurance that it would be OK.
This experience reminded me how important it is to be a Compassionate Leader. Leadership with care in a very simple and profound way.