Episode 23 – Manley Hopkinson – leading teams through compassion, understanding and listening

In this episode of Doing the Opposite: Business Disruptors, Jeff Dewing speaks to Manley Hopkinson; Author, Consultant, Keynote Speaker and leading voice in Compassionate Leadership.


Manley explains that ‘the outcome of leadership should be commitment’. Being a good leader is about enabling people, inspiring them and creating an environment where they want to stay and thrive. 


As a leader you need to be able to influence people, but your team will only be influenced if they allow you to influence them. Team members will engage and support you if they feel you have their best interests at heart, which requires a bond brought about ultimately through trust. 


Manley and Jeff also discuss how a good leader doesn’t need to have all the answers. In fact, saying ‘I don’t know’ can be incredibly powerful in inspiring others to step forward and share their ideas. As a leader, it’s important to listen and consider other people’s views. “The first thing to do as leader, instead of burst into room and start speaking, it’s to burst into room and shut up”.


Jeff and Manley also discuss how covid has helped us rediscover the humanity around our work. Despite suddenly working remotely, managers got to know and understand their teams better and video calls allowed us a small window into other people’s lives. Seeing their bookshelves, pets and families helped us to better understand the people we were working with. 

Compassionate Leadership
In 2014, Manley published “Compassionate Leadership: How to Create and Maintain Engaged, Committed and High-Performing Teams”, with the 2nd edition published in Sep 2022 with 2 new chapters. In this highly acclaimed, entertaining and hugely readable book, Manley combines the two worlds of business and adventure to encourage leaders everywhere – at work, at home, in sports and mid-ocean – to take a new approach to creating teams of developed, self-aware and committed individuals. Having received a copy of Manley’s book, the Dalai Lama has commended Manley for his work on compassion.


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