The Art of Caring Leadership: How Leading with Heart Uplifts Teams and Organizations
By Heather R. Younger
Berrett-Koehler, 216 pp., $19.95
Are you a caring leader? Do you want to become one? In The Art of Caring Leadership, Younger dives deep into the artistry it takes for leaders to demonstrate care. She does so by focusing on behaviors that comprise her Caring Leadership Framework, which she likens to a painter's palette. Younger created the framework to help leaders develop specific skills on their journey to developing a caring leadership style that's similar to a piece of art.
Chapter by chapter, the author covers caring leadership behaviors such as cultivating self-leadership skills, leading the whole person, empowering employees to make decisions, and building employees' resilience. She provides in-depth descriptions of those behaviors, shares suggestions for putting them into practice, and highlights individuals who embody the behaviors.
Younger also explores concepts such as psychological safety, emotional intelligence, employee engagement, and culture. She compares those concepts with caring leadership behaviors and demonstrates the positive contributions a caring leader offers organizations.
To support her position on the value of such leadership, Younger ties in personal stories and shares insights she has gained from a qualitative analysis of interviews with leaders from various industries.
Younger also highlights how caring leadership intersects with talent development. She says this type of leadership creates a productive, collaborative workforce and serves as the seeds of a learning culture. She believes that when leaders recognize the impact their words and actions make on employees, they can adjust to create an environment where workers feel safe to contribute ideas, take risks, and learn from mistakes. "Such mistakes are seen as learning and growth opportunities," Younger writes.
The book concludes with information on how behaviors affect companies' bottom lines. It also directs readers to an assessment they can take to determine their strengths on their path to becoming caring leaders. If you want to be known as a leader who leads with heart and positively affects the organization's bottom line, this book is for you.