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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

The Power of Kindness Creates Success

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Kindness. You’ve probably thought of kindness as a key to good personal relationships. You may have even applied kindness to your daily interactions with coworkers. Have you ever thought kindness was the key to success in business?

Westminster College professor Dr. Vicki Whiting says it is. In a powerful TEDx talk at her college, she makes the case that WalMart may one day cease to exist because it lacks the kindness its founder once imbued into the organization.

Dr. Vicki Whiting at TEDx Westminster, courtesy of Westminster College

Dr. Vicki Whiting at TEDx Westminster, courtesy of Westminster College

She offers three key observations about kindness:

1. Kindness is powerful.

Kindness is the most powerful tool leaders have at their disposal if they desire to create the connection and commitment necessary to afford long term success. Leaders as far back as Aristotle teach us that kindness sits at the heart of meaningful relationships. It is through meaningful relationship that customers are loyal to an organization, that employees are committed to an organization’s vision, that co-workers trust one another to work productively to achieve an organization’s goals. Success is predicated on meaningful relationships, and meaningful relationships are based on the principles of kindness.

2. Kindness is more than “being nice.”

Kindness involves tough aspects including honesty and accountability, as well as softer aspects such as empathy and compassion. When we make decisions based on kind principles, when we communicate with kindness, then we connect with others such that they feel valued and respected, resulting in relationships of commitment, support, and satisfaction, all of which lead to individual and organizational success.

3. Listening is kind.

The best way to act with kindness is to be a great listener. Peter Drucker offered eight principles for successful leadership, yet he only had one specific “rule” necessary to effectively influencing the behavior of others. Drucker, along with other highly regarded thought leaders agree that listening is the key behavior that demonstrates kindness and lays the framework upon which individual success is based.

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at noon Eastern, Vicki will join me here for a live discussion about her remarkable insights about the power of kindness in business. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Vicki Whiting, courtesy of Westminster College

Vicki Whiting, courtesy of Westminster College

More about Westminster College:

Twitter: @westminsterSLC

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

Vicki’s bio:

Twitter: @docwhiting

Dr. Vicki R. Whiting, professor and award winning author, brings over twenty-five years of business and leadership experience to classrooms and executives throughout the United States. Vicki has focused her teaching, research, and consulting experience in the area of organizational leadership, most specifically on personal and organizational leadership development through mentor relationships, leveraging strengths, and developing effective organizational interactions. Publications in numerous academic journals compliment her recent award winning health care advocacy book, “In Pain We Trust.” Her writing and research integrate across leadership, mentorship and service learning.

During the past several years, Vicki has consulted in both public and private organizations such as United Therapeutics, OC Tanner, L-3 Communications, Chevron Corporation, Swift Transportation, Right Consulting, CEObuilders, Corporation. Consulting engagements have ranged in scope from large scale organizational development opportunities, identifying cost savings initiatives of more than $18 million in a six-month period for Swift Transportation; to individualized executive success coaching.

Prior to moving into the classroom and consulting arena, Vicki had a twelve-year career in the technology industry culminating in an appointment as Director of Technical Services at Digital Systems International. Vicki was a member of the upper management team responsible for corporate growth of over 700%, including participating in the company’s IPO. Vicki contributed to the operational excellence which ultimately led to the organization’s acquisition by Lucent Technologies.

Vicki’s work experience also includes technical sales for NCR Corporation and internal software support for Safeco Insurance. Vicki is currently a senior faculty member at Westminster College and has taught at the University of Utah and at the University of Southern California. Vicki received her doctoral degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. As a doctoral candidate, Vicki was chosen to represent the college at the request of the University’s President when she received the prestigious Sample Fellowship award. She received her M.B.A. from Seattle University and her B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!


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