10 Commandments of Truly Caring Leadership

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Many people are overwhelmed by the rate of change in the workplace.
As we rush into the digital revolution, workplaces can seem less human, and yet we all yearn to feel accepted for who we are. Loneliness at work has become a significant problem.

We want to be part of a caring team, have a purpose that excites us, and the opportunity to grow. So, what are the ingredients of a caring and successful team?

What does a caring team look like?
I recently shared about an exercise I do in my workshops, where I invite attendees to reflect on their best team ever (BTE). I then ask them to discuss what were the one or two qualities that made that team different to their other teams.

These were the top 5 foundations of their BTE.

  1. We had each other’s back
  2. We had fun
  3. We had complementary strengths
  4. We were resourceful
  5. We had an exciting purpose and clear goals

I then ask the groups, “Did you care about each other?The room always universally nods.

This exercise led to THE CARE CREW CREDO below.

10 Command Word Art

The #1 predictor of a caring team is a caring leader. What evidence supports this?

Does evidence support that caring leadership is desirable?

The evidence below supports this is also good for business, and why caring is more valuable than ever.

  • The more employees that strongly agree with this Gallup Engagement Survey question: “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” – the higher the profit, productivity, customer services levels, and the longer an employee stays with the company (Rath, T el al, Strengths Based Leadership, Gallup Press).
  • Professor Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School proves that psychologically safety is the #1 predictor for the best performing teams at innovation powerhouses like Google and Pixar in her new book THE FEARLESS ORGANISATON.
  • CSIRO research found that rising mental health issues at work, will be a megatrend for the next 20 years. Allianz research revealed that 91% of employees are unhappy with how their company is currently addressing mental ill-health.

10 Command Stats

Self-care – and to care for others in the team – is the foundation to highly effective, sustainable, and innovative teams. How do we reconnect with the qualities that existed in our best team?

That is where caring leadership comes in. It is what leaders choose to do each day that determines whether a team is caring and outperforms. We are what we repeatedly do.

These are my 10 Commandments.

10 Commandments of Truly Caring Leadership

  1. Begin each day with a self-care plan
  2. Know that self-care allows you to care for others
  3. Embrace leadership practices that send people home each day safe, healthy, and fulfilled
  4. Align all actions with an inspirational view of the future
  5. Be clear about expectations and goals
  6. Allow each person to use their top strengths daily
  7. Make it safe to be vulnerable and take moderate risks
  8. Celebrate small steps of progress daily
  9. If you are concerned about someone – ask R U OK?
  10. Measure success by how caring, helpful, and growth-oriented your team is


What were the qualities of a caring leader you admire?

Would you like your teams to be more caring, resilient, and growth-oriented?

Why not invite me to speak at your conference or organisation?

He is an author and speaker who helps leaders and teams be more caring, resilient, and growth-oriented. Download his speaking brochure here. If you have questions about his availability or suitability for presenting at your conference or organisation please email support@graemecowan.com.au or call +61 2 8005 0344

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