"Leaders balance ambition and empathy. They value and protect fellow humans, and know purpose is more important than profit. Leaders that don’t, may get the chance to atone but never repair"
👏 Happy Friday!
On this day, November 10, 1911, Andrew Carnegie formed the Carnegie Corporation to promote scholarly and charitable works, establishing one of the most influential philanthropic foundations that would fund major advancements over the next century. The Corporation reflected Carnegie’s deep conviction that private wealth should fund public good to uplift society. Its founding occurred just before Carnegie sold his industrial empire to J.P. Morgan for $480 million, making him the world’s richest man. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to Pittsburgh, United States, with his parents in 1848 at the age of 12. He died on August 11, 1919, aged 84. While later known for his philanthropy, he led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, but his early business practices were notoriously ruthless. Carnegie built his steel empire through unethical means, colluding to fix prices, busting unions, subjecting workers to low wages and harsh conditions. This profit-above-all approach caused substantial pain and immense human suffering.
✅ Andrew Carnegie told us, “To die rich is to die disgraced,” and this underscored his transition from an industrial giant to a dedicated philanthropist. His focus shifted from steel to endowing libraries, educational institutions, and peace initiatives. Carnegie’s win-at-all-costs ambition exemplifies the grave risks of pursuing goals without a moral compass anchored in compassion. Carnegie’s monopolistic tactics also demonstrate the temptation for leaders to take unethical shortcuts that undermine systems and human welfare. He inflicted real hardship on working class families through his greed. Lasting positive change comes through integrity and a fair process, not cheating. Leaders Balance Ambition and Empathy.
“Leaders balance ambition and empathy. They value and protect fellow humans, and know purpose is more important than profit. Leaders that don’t, may get the chance to atone but never repair"
👉 Empathy is the ability to share an employee’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that employee’s situation. The change leader’s ability to sense an employee’s emotions about their new workload, new skills, and behaviours and how the change is impacting them personally will make a big difference in how the employee embraces the change. Empathetic change leaders will have awareness and understanding of how the employee is feeling as they move through the change transition. This trait is extremely important as everyone reacts differently to change and when livelihoods are threatened some employees can become very anxious.
Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.
Further Reading: Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change Volume 3
Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.
Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).
Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) by Thinkers360.
Business Book Ranking
Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.
Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.
Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.
Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.