Buy new:
Order now and we’ll notify you via email when we have an estimated delivery date for this item.
In Stock
$$38.99 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from and sold by
Compassionate Leadership:... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle app

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Authors

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way Hardcover – Jan. 18 2022

4.7 out of 5 stars 90 ratings

Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
$27.09 $28.75

Enhance your purchase

Frequently bought together

  • Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way
  • +
  • The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results
  • +
  • The Mindful Leader: 7 Practices for Transforming Your Leadership, Your Organisation and Your Life
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Choose items to buy together.

Product description


"…an accessible, handy reference for those eager to lead with kindness." — Publisher's Weekly

"Divided into easy-to-read chapters that can be implemented as practical tools and guidance for leaders and managers at any level, Compassionate Leadership makes doing the hard work of leadership easiest to do in a human way." — School Administrator (AASA, American Association of School Administrators)

Advance Praise for Compassionate Leadership:

"All business leaders care about business performance. This book uses deep research to demonstrate that compassionate and wise leadership is not an alternative to a performance culture, but is a key accelerator of it." — Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

"Investing deeply in human connection and compassion with candor are the most important leadership traits of our time and essential to creating a truly human organization. This book cracks the code on how to lead with both your heart and your mind." — Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer, Accenture

"As this timely book reveals, compassion strengthens a leader's qualities. It is the antidote to anger and fear. It brings confidence, courage, and the peace of mind to enable a leader to be clear and decisive." — His Holiness Dalai Lama XIV

"This remarkable book shines a light on how to create the culture of compassion and empowerment that unlocks creativity, productivity, and happiness in today's organizations. Its intelligent, engaging prose is a delight to read." — Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School; author, The Fearless Organization

"Wise leaders know that when you avoid uncomfortable issues, they always come back to haunt you. Reading this book will help you understand how to lead, guided by a deep sense that human values are the primary objective. Those values should be your compass for doing the right thing when the next tough dilemma comes along." — Jesper Brodin, President and CEO, Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group)

About the Author

Rasmus Hougaard is the founder and CEO of leadership development and consulting firm Potential Project. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and coach of C-suite executives at top global companies. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award, recognizing "thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject." He writes for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Business Insider and is the coauthor, with Jacqueline Carter, of The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results.

Jacqueline Carter is a partner and North American Director for Potential Project. She has over twenty years of experience helping leaders and organizations manage change and achieve results. She is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Leader to Leader. She is the coauthor, with Rasmus Hougaard, of The Mind of the Leader.

You can find more about the authors at:

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvard Business Review Press (Jan. 18 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1647820731
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1647820732
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 454 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.88 x 1.27 x 24.13 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 90 ratings

About the authors

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
90 global ratings

Top review from Canada

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on February 16, 2022
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Clemens Küfner
2.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful - too many measures and questionable data base
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on June 20, 2022
Verified Purchase
Customer image
Clemens Küfner
2.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful - too many measures and questionable data base
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on June 20, 2022
Compassionate Leadership is good to read, but it does not earn more than two stars. The basic idea – do though things in a human way – is very convincing. So, too, are some ideas promoted by the authors. But the book proposes to many ideas to give more than a quick overview: 10 mantras or principles each containing several strategies. Much of it remains superficial. (E.g., Viktor Frankl in a few sentences. Wow!) The book is strong (and good) in arguing for openness, but very weak on trust and psychological safety. The highly promoted data base for the analysis is completely questionable. The huge number of proposed measures is neither prioritized nor tested. It is not very helpful.

The book Compassionate Leadership is centred around the fact, that leaders have to make and implement decisions that imply a negative effect on the people for whom they are responsible. They have to do hard things. The ways to do so are clustered in Ineffective Indifference, Caring Avoidance, Uncaring Execution and Wise Compassion (see The Wise Compassion Matrix). This clustering together with the empathic hijack (see The spark of empathy) are the two highlights of the book.

What Wise Compassion is, shall be described in 10 principles or mantras:
• Unlearn Management, Relearn Being Human
• Great Power Comes with Great Responsibility
• Connect with Empathy, Lead with Compassion
• Your Oxygen Mask First
• Busyness Kills Your Heart
• Be Here Now
• Courage over Comfort
• Direct Is Faster
• Clarity Is Kindness
• The Only Way Out Is Through
The description of the over 50 measures and strategies behind these 10 points is absolutely high level. That is simply too much for roughly 200 pages text. The authors present each measure or strategy as equally important. Prioritizing is left to the reader. Worse is, that these proposals are untested. If, under what circumstances and to what degree they help is again left to the reader.

The second weak point is the data base of the analysis: Compassionate Leadership belongs in the category Consultant Literature: A consultant or in this case two consultants share their insights with everyone who is not able to recruit them as consultants. Just as in the books of the most famous representative of this species Jim Collins a huge data base is claimed to be the foundation for the analysis. The authors make clear that their intention to justify human behaviour in critical situations requires a particularly solid ground in data. I agree with the reasoning but have to question the execution. The data base for the analysis is twofold: The first basis consists in 350 qualitive interviews with CEOs and CHROs. The second basis are the answers to 15.000 leaders and 50.000 employees in the two proprietary tools of the consulting company. Sounds impressive? But it is not: The quality of the 350 interviews cannot be judged by the reader. If better they were presumably semi-structured, but this is unclear because more detail on the method and the questionnaire is not published in the book. This is particularly difficult, since it is nowhere to be seen, how or if these answers are shielded against hindsight bias. A huge number is no replacement for quality. These interviews are no proof for the points made in the book, although the authors want to convince the reader that the opposite is true. Similarly questionable is the data from managers and employees. It is done by proprietary tools of the consulting company and can neither be judged by the reader nor be retested somewhere else. Again, it is impossible to judge whether the questions are shielded against biases. A problem? Indeed, a huge one. For one chapter the authors rely on a self-evaluation of managers concerning wisdom. It would be crucial to show that the managers are not overrating themselves. Not surprisingly the authors simply avoid the question. Again, that means the data may not be taken at face value. The reasoning behind this is bad marketing and should be seen as such. (For a detailed analysis on the data base Phil Rosenzweig`s The Halo Effect is highly recommendable.)

Another weak point is that the concepts of “caring” and “psychological safety” are far less clear than “openness”. Were as “openness” is exemplified down to outright quotes, caring in particular remains vague. Particularly the question of what happens, if “caring” and “the greater good” seem to be or are in conflict, remains again to be decided by the reader without a good suggestion from the authors.
Images in this review
Customer image Customer image
Customer imageCustomer image
Ashwinikumar Patil
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Hard Conversations
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 6, 2022
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Shaheed Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars New concept of Leadership
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on December 4, 2022
Verified Purchase
Sundeep Singh Chauhan
4.0 out of 5 stars Being Compassionate it the key to be Humane
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 10, 2022
Verified Purchase
Marco Bombardi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in Spain 🇪🇸 on February 14, 2022
Verified Purchase