Episode recap: Compassionate Business with Toni McLelland

In the fifth episode of the special episode series, we are looking into the area of belonging, work and relationships through the power of Compassionate business with Toni McLelland Msc.

Toni assists C Suite Leaders and Boards to navigate the world of business, crisis and change management in her work around organizational culture and major incidents. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Social Impact, Social Justice and Social Mobility from her work in central government spanning over two decades. She is a champion of Diversity Equity and Inclusion as well as Compassionate Leadership and uses these approaches to underpin her work to get results. 

You can learn more about Toni and her work from her website , or from her Linkedin !

Here is a brief overview of the topics we touched upon during the episode!

Sprinkle a little bit of fairy dust everywhere you go

At the beginning of the episode, we discussed the shift in leadership styles we have noticed in the business world before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Something that we both agreed on we had noticed was leaders being more willing to be their authentic selves to others in the workplace, as well as more understanding of others.

We proceed to discuss leadership in general and touch upon topics such as the importance of self-awareness, leading by example, different leadership philosophies, and understanding your own and your team’s strengths and weaknesses, not only in people management but also through strategic leadership. According to Toni, the latter is often an area of leadership people seem to forget -and that can have enormous consequences for the business.

It is so much easier to be yourself when you are not trying.

Toni McLelland

Compassionate leadership radiates compassion everywhere around

Compassionate leadership is action-oriented. Toni points out to us that there is a lot of what she calls ‘mess’ around the word compassion. Compassion may sound ”soft and fluffy” to people, and it is often associated with kindness and even weakness. However, these are myths, and Toni says she and her team often spend time working with and breaking those myths at the Compassionate Business and Leadership Framework.

”The only qualification required to care, is the qualifying as being human.”

Toni McLelland

She explains to us with great examples what compassionate leadership actually is: ”Compassion is really about understanding, listening, caring, being considerate, and really empowering people, and taking action to do that. If we look at the World Cup and the England football team and Gareth Southgate, there is really clear evidence of compassion. How he empowered and inspired that young team to take us further into the world cup than any other time, over X amount of years.”.

”He let them choose. He supported them when they missed. And he took responsibility and was ultimately accountable.”, she describes. Ultimately, being a compassionate leader also radiates to the compassionate energy way outside of the team you are leading: ”Everybody across the world was on board with what was going on at that stage – they swept the whole nation up in compassion.”, Toni concludes.

”They swept the whole nation up in compassion.”

Toni McLelland

Only so much can be written in one blog post, so to hear the details at end of the episode and us discuss various points and areas of leadership, go ahead and tune in to the episode from here or on your preferred podcast platform by searching The Art and Science of Joy.

Remember to subscribe to the podcast for more episodes on Joy Superpowers, and inspiration for you to start living a more joyful life!

Further reading