Nick Lawson on compassion, solidarity, inclusivity and the one key lesson that has helped him become a much better leader.

[caption id="attachment_356115" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Nick Lawson and Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Honorary Life Member, Ita Buttrose[/caption]

One of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learnt so far in my career was more of a very simple epiphany than a formal instruction.

I was working in Afghanistan for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 1998 and was part of a commissioned unit sent there to assist with the immediate aftermath of the Rostaq earthquake. When out in the field, it was standard practice for the fly-in fly-out NGO workers to confer then return back to their respective organisations’ local HQs to work out the plan of action.

After one such conference, I walked over to our Afghan national staff to update them on the plans we had been discussing. Their gentle and remarkably patient reply surprised me: “It is rare that we are involved in the planning but we know…

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