“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it”

Daniel Gorman

This is a true story of a leader who showed great sensitivity and caring towards a young girl:

13 year old Natalie Gilbert was given the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the 2003 NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals. She was to perform before a crowd of 20,000 and nationwide TV .

Her performance started well, but suddenly, due to nerves, her mind went blank. Fortunately one of the basket ball coaches, Maurice Cheekes, was standing close by and immediately rushed to her aid. He placed his hand on her shoulder and sang along with her, encouraging the crowd to join in, which they did.

It is at moments such as this that true leaders appear. He would be preoccupied with the game to come. But he acted spontaneously and did the right thing at the right time.

What made Maurice instinctively behave in this way? He had strong leadership qualities. He appeared when it was necessary and provided encouragement by garnering the support of the crowd. Compassionate leaders deeply care about people and put the needs of others ahead of their own.