23 lessons we learned from our guest on season 02 of empath-led

23 lessons we learned from our guest on season 02 of empath-led

September 19, 2023

Last year we launched a podcast called Empathy-led, as an expression of our vision to fill the world with empathetic leaders, organizations and brands. We started with a 10-episode pilot for season 01 and we ramped things up for season 02 with 23 episodes. We learn so much from these conversations, and we wanted to share with you one thing we learned from each of my guests this season. 

The future of leadership is empathy

Ep. 01 | Michael Smith

The next generation of talents is not “entitled” or “lazy.” They are simply looking to be heard and understood. They are looking for genuine relationships. And without empathy, leaders will find it increasingly difficult to connect with them, nevermind get the best out of them. 

Empathy starts with dismantling your judgment

Ep. 02 | Rob Volpe

The biggest thing that stands in the way of empathizing with other people is judgment. So the first of Rob’s five steps to empathy is dismantling our judgment-- becoming aware and suspending our inclination to be judgmental of others simply because we don’t understand them. 

Remote work is a gamechanger for people with disabilities

Ep. 03 | Anessa Powell

One of the many benefits of remote work is that it has opened up so many opportunities for people with disabilities. They can now work from their homes without worrying about the lack of inclusion and insufficient accommodations in the workplace. 

Climate change is a communication challenge 

Ep. 04 | Tim Elliott 

The climate change challenge is no longer a science challenge. We know what’s happening and what to do about it but we’re not acting fast enough. So now it’s a communication and behavior challenge. We need empathy to help people understand why climate change is important to them. 

A business is a tool to enhance the human experience

Ep. 05  | Mark Gibson

Businesses exist to improve the human experience in big and small ways. We should use them as tools to fulfill our personal and collective aspirations, as well as a means to build connections and relationships. People are not their work, and separating the individual from the role is crucial. 

Art is a form of self-expression

Ep. 06 | Ronnie Q

As artists, it can be difficult to decide whether to create for the audience or yourself. Ronnie’s advice is to create for yourself, because art is a form of self-expression; it’s a way to communicate a unique point of view in hopes that others will relate or understand. 

You are a world that can impact other worlds

Ep. 07 | Curtis Drafton

Remember that, as a human being, you deserve no less than the best that this world has to offer. Put yourself first because you are no good to the world if you don’t take care of your mental health and physical wellbeing. Only then can you be a force with the power to change the world. 

Be useful. Be kind. 

Ep. 08 | Jonny Prest 

Whenever you’re faced with a challenging situation or dealing with a difficult person, ask yourself how you can approach it with love and compassion. Creating space for this inquiry will help you reframe the situation and regain the power to choose your response and not just react. 

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Ep 09 | Susan Collins

We all have biases. But if we suspend our judgment and learn to give people a chance, they inevitably surprise us. Over time, being aware of our biases and keeping an open mind will help us realize that as human beings, we are more alike than different. 

Trying to fit in robs you of your identity

Ep 10 | Ndukwe Onuoha

Taking the time to get to know yourself, to remember where you came from, and to learn about your heritage will build the confidence you need to show up as you are. Once you know who you are, it becomes impossible for someone to foist a false identity onto you. 

The right audience will always find you

Ep. 11 | Julius Geis

There’s a magnetic field that naturally attracts like-minded people to each other. The same is true with brands and customers. But in order to benefit from this law of attraction, brands have to show up as authentically as possible instead of catering to the market and other external forces.

Operationalize your values

Ep. 12 | Bill Kenney

Every company has a set of values and beliefs that informs and shapes its culture. The only difference is that for some companies it’s unconscious, and for others it is a conscious process. To build a strong culture and brand, turn your values into processes, policies, rituals and traditions. 

Positivity sells 

Ep. 13 | Micheal Azira

In the nonprofit world, it’s common practice to raise money by telling a sob story that often dehumanizes the people you seek to help in the process. But Micheal reminds us that you can raise funds by telling positive and empowering stories of hope and transformation. 

Education reform starts with meeting students where they are

Ep. 14 | Rhett Brown

In all the debates around education reform, what’s often missed is what’s best for students. Dr. Rhett Brown believes in the transformative power of education, but in order for every student to experience that transformation, we need to deploy the empathy to meet them where they are. 

Customers can sniff out purpose and virtue signaling

Ep. 15 | Juliet D’Ambrosio

Spend time and attention identifying, communicating, and exemplifying your values. As a brand, the more you tell the truth about who you are and what you stand for, the more you will be able to attract those who share that worldview without having to pretend. 

Empathy is fundamental to business success

Ep. 16 | Lucas Cuadros

Empathy is crucial in business because business exists in our collective imagination and is therefore governed by human laws. The only way to be good at anything that exists in the collective consciousness is to understand humans first. 

Belonging is about being accepted for who you are

Ep. 17 | Rashaan Peek

Code-switching is the idea that in an effort to fit in at work, employees often change who they are. Rashaan’s perspective on code-switching is that you shouldn’t have to change who you are to fit in. The world needs more leaders who create inclusive cultures and spaces where people can belong. 

Vulnerability is a superpower  

Ep. 18 | Mathu Gibson

It might feel like life is easier if we present a hard shell and never show our emotions. But vulnerability is a superpower. It helps you not only connect with people, but it builds stronger relationships. It’s also the fastest way to get someone to open up and to trust you.

Inclusive brands invite everyone to their party

Ep. 19 | Dr. Leigh George

An inclusive brand is like a party that is not for everyone but where everyone is invited. To be truly inclusive, build your brand on ideas that everyone can potentially believe in. Nike isn’t for everyone, but If you have body, you’re an athlete and Just Do it are. 

Help people on their own terms

Ep 20 | Kristin Blinson

Helping those we love on their own terms is extremely difficult because we just want to fix things or take their pain away. But the best way to help a loved one struggling with substance use disorder is to sit with them and wait for them to tell us when they are ready– and ask what they need from us. 

Removing mental health stigma starts with conversations

Ep. 21 | Mike Oshim

The only way to remove stigma around mental illness, or anything for that matter, is to talk about it. It’s important for people to be open, candid and transparent about their mental health struggles so those hiding their pain can feel less alone and seek help. 

Empathize with the underlying emotions

Ep 22 | Kimberly Evans

It can be hard for men to understand what women are going through because our empathy muscles can only stretch so far. But instead of trying to relate to specific experiences, seek to understand the underlying emotions because therein lies our connection to the human race. 

Learning starts with self-awareness

Ep. 23 | Steven Rick

In a world where information is abundant, it’s become very important to know what and how to learn. It all starts with self-awareness, which means giving into your curiosity and recognizing how our biases and dogmas get in the way of learning.

If you’ve made this far, thank you for your attention. We hope it was worth your time. You can find all these conversations wherever you like to enjoy podcasts. 





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