Christine Reidhead: Compassion Is the Element to Great Leadership

In the heat of the Top 10 Inspiring Leaders to Watch 2020 announcement, certain raves and ecstasy arose; but, Christine Reidhead evidently deserved a recognition such as this beyond these emotions. It is evident that there are certain things to emulate in Christine’s life – her dedication to her team, company, and compassionate heart towards the poor and helpless. The nomination announcement birthed an explosive and happy moment, moments that would not be forgotten so soon. The announcement is an indicator that effective leadership can be accurately and consistently done.

Christine is not just a leader; she puts those around her to heart, shares their burden, provides for their needs, and serves as a support system to everyone around her. For many, Christine is like an umbrella, big enough to provide shelter from both the rain and the sun. Interestingly, this nomination for Christine is a drive to do more – help more people.

Christine’s greatest strength as a leader is compassion for people in need. Growing up in the midst of different challenges and struggle both as a young lady and single mother, Christine’s greatest desire is to help the needy who are just like her, children, and poor women in Africa. Her desire towards the helpless drove her to pioneer the fastest growing and most reliable non-profit organization in Africa, AfrikRising. AfrikRising’s goal is to meet every African child's basic and necessary needs and provide a sustainable and lifelong impact on children's lives. AfrikRising’s goal will be impossible to achieve without Christine’s unrelenting motivation, burning heart desire, and unending compassion towards those in need.

As a result of the vision and mission of AfrikRising, Christine needs others on deck; her vision on earth requires the hands and minds of others who are always passionate about solving the needs of others. Beyond doubts, the organization will not be successful without Christine’s leadership skills. As a business owner and passionate individual, Christine set goals for herself. These goals help her to stretch herself beyond the usual, and also stretch others around her. She demonstrates leadership by living an exemplary life. For a leader like Christine, every goal is achievable; if she can do it, others can do it. However, in the case of showing compassion, her team members imitate her. Beyond her words, her actions are evident prove that all she wants is to help those in need. Moreover, her compassionate hands and heart transcend beyond the poor and needy in Africa; she always extends her compassionate hands towards her team members.

According to the World Bank, the International Poverty Line refers to those who have less than 1.25 US dollars a day to live, and thus live on the very edge of existence. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sets various indicators in its Human Development Index (HDI) to measure poverty in Africa and all other countries in the world. This includes:

  • life expectancy at birth
  • average school attendance period
  • expected school attendance period as well
  • per capita income

As the indicators show, education is closely linked to poverty by the United Nations - because those who cannot read and write have little chance of getting a skilled job and build their livelihood.

More than a quarter of the hungry in the world live on the African continent. One fifth of people living in Africa are considered malnourished. This gives the continent the highest rate of malnourished people worldwide.

Families across the world are more vulnerable today than ever before. Adverse circumstances like poverty, armed conflict and disease present overwhelming challenges for parents and threaten family stability. When a family is at risk of falling apart, children are at a much greater risk of being abandoned and left vulnerable to child labor, child trafficking and other threats to their safety.

Undoubtedly, certain traits and characters cannot be hidden. Just like Florence Nightingale, who had compassion for the sick, Christine has an unending passion for the needy, and she believes she can provide solutions to these needs.

This nomination is a blessing; however, Christine's tremendous honor to have pioneered an organization like AfrikRising. It is not enough that you have a working system; it is more enough to have a team that believes in you and trusts your judgment. Beyond the recognition and nomination, Christine’s greatest joy is that she has a team of like minds, who trust her, and supports her – these kinds of people make leadership effective.

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