The campaign is led by the Women of the Future programme to recognise the contribution that kind leaders give to business, the economy and society.
Stephen commented: “It’s humbling to be recognised in this way and to know that someone took the time to nominate me. I consider kindness to be an important quality and I have been fortunate over many years to be guided and supported by Kind Leaders. Common themes in all was that they gave their time freely to me and were very patient! Young people in particular watch leaders very closely and expect to be inspired by them.
Within Everards, such inspiration is provided by the Everard Family, led by Richard, the Chairman where leadership creates an environment of custodianship, care and a desire for each individual to be happy and fulfilled.”
Stephen joined independent family business, Everards of Leicestershire in 2003 and was appointed Managing Director in 2005. The judges commented, “He has embraced the culture and history of Everards and with a very clear, societal-led purpose. Stephen and his team continue to innovate, invest and perform, always anchored by Everards’ mission to build relationships with business owners and communities. Stephen’s leadership is centred around inclusive societal purpose for business growth.”
When asked why kindness is essential to a leader in today’s world, Stephen replied: “A leader is part of a broader community, both within the organisation and beyond. Learning and growing in every sense requires everyone to be connected: to listen, share, build confidence and create sustainable teamwork. A kind, inclusive approach offers everyone the opportunity to contribute to developing innovative and vibrant communities. A business needs a clear purpose underpinned by a strong set of values to succeed. Kindness binds these together.
The Kindness & Leadership 50 Leading Lights campaign was launched by the Women of the Future programme in 2018, celebrating 50 phenomenal, kind leaders working in the UK today. Their goal was to radically challenge the leadership conversation, which has traditionally overlooked the power of kindness in leadership and the immense impact that it has in all areas of business.
“We wanted to recast perceptions of ‘strong’ leadership – to present kindness as a strength, as a quality and a currency that empowers change.
"Against a background of uncertainty and rapid change (political, environmental, technological), we’ve seen kindness move to centre stage, so, it’s tremendously exciting to see our 50 Leading Lights campaign grow and to announce our 2019 Kindness List, in association with Unilever.” Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Women of the Future Programme.
Congratulations to Stephen and all those recognised.