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The Importance of Compassion in Leadership

David Lykken
Jun 18, 2015

Leadership can be messy. The countless changes in the mortgage industry over the past few years have left many people who work in the industry stressed out and restless in their work. It's hard to perform well when you're worried about the stability of the very industry in which you work. Working in the mortgage industry, people increasingly face the conflicting pressures to bee compliant with the ever-changing regulations and to produce the results necessary to sustain their organizations.

As leaders in our organizations, it is our jobs to meet these fears and struggles with a practice that all leaders need to develop more fully: compassion. The idea of compassion isn't just for missionaries or people doing some form of social work. Compassion is an amazingly effective practice for business. The word compassion comes from an old French word simply meaning sympathy. Broken down, the word literally means "to suffer together." So, as a leader, practicing compassion means subjecting ourselves to the same pressures faced by our people. If our people late, we work late. If our people take on additional responsibilities, we take on additional responsibilities. Whatever burdens are placed on our people, we must be sure to bear those burdens as well.

Practicing compassion cultivates a sense that "we're all in this together." When our people see us enduring the same difficulties that they are enduring, we gain their respect and their loyalty. And, when that happens, there is nothing that cannot stop us from surviving the changes in the industry and coming out on top in the end. For leadership and in business, compassion isn't simply a nice thing to do; it's also an effective strategy for success.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]


Jun 18, 2015