Kindness is Free

Tom Peters, one of the most important observers and writers on “excellence” in business, has a chapter with this title in his book The Little Big Things, 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. Why? Kindness makes a huge difference to excellence in leadership. And I believe it is one of the key tenants of Respect. 

In the chapter he goes on to refer to a quote from Plato, “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle.” The point is that you and I need to look at things from the perspective of the other person. This means we have to care. That’s hard work.

Kindness opportunities present themselves daily with teammates and others, including customers and suppliers. Being kind and thoughtful applies to almost every internal and external activity we’re involved in.  What a powerful currency kindness is and it’s totally free!

Try to be extra conscious about kindness this week. Please post me back and let me know the outcome.

with Character,


  1. Kayla says:

    I often find myself sitting at the back of yoga classes and looking around at all of the people sitting in front of me. Everyone is so different and I notice that I immediately will judge them all by their appearance. This judgement is in the far back of my mind, but when I notice it (with the awareness that being in a yoga class brings) I am able to stop that train of thought and I choose to look at everyone differently. With this new perspective, I inevitably say to myself everytime, “we are all the same, just trying to make our way in this incredible world”, and I smile. This smile carries itself throughout my day and this lightness of heart reflects onto other people. It is amazing the reaction you get when you smile at a stranger-they looked so shocked and then so happy when they return the smile. How can this not be a good day?

  2. Melissa says:

    That quote by Plato is one of my favorites, but I’ve always heard it this way: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting some sort of value.”

    It’s a small distinction, but an important one, to me. I don’t just want to act with the bare minimum kindness, or only be kind when it’s called for. Fact is, it’s always called for, whether we know the reasons or not. You never know what kind of bad day your coworker or customer might be facing or what’s going on behind the scenes, and it’s more than easy enough to react without kindness and to rationalize it to yourself that kindness wasn’t necessary in that instance.

    For me, at the end of the day, I want to know that I acted with kindness in every interaction. No matter how correctly I might do things, it isn’t worth a damn if I don’t do it with kindness, and that’s the road I want to take to success.

    • Lorne Rubis says:

      agree..fact is it’s always called for ….sometimes people feel that it doesn’t work in the rough and tumble world of business but i believe the data supports that it does and it is totally free

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