Simon Sinek On Understanding Empathy

Are you a leader yourself or work in a corporate enviroment with multiple bosses to report to? Then you have definitely thought about what makes a good leader. Simon Sinek faces up to the reality of leadership in the workplace; something that is so important to the progression and success of companies, but a key skill that is often being taken for granted and not nurtured and trained effectively. Often people may rise up the ranks in companies and in turn take on leadership roles, without ever being taught skills of what it truly takes to be a good leader. In such pressurised environments, is there any wonder that people’s priorities remain focused on their own immediate goals and responsibilities, without a wider appreciation for the performance and satisfaction of the people working beneath them. This is where Simon emphasises the importance of empathy and perspective in leadership, in particular, and demonstrates just how damaging the consequences can be when companies ignore this. For Simon, there is a crucial difference in how many people approach being a leader, between being in charge and taking care of people in our charge, for which empathy and perspective are so important. To address this, Simon demonstrates the stark contrast between managers, on the one hand, who look after the people in their charge, helping them develop in the process and ensuring that they are able to fulfill their job requirements to the best of their ability, in contrast to managers, on the other hand, who solely take charge and, be it consciously or unconsciously, become so focused on looking at performance towards immediate priorities, that they pick up on every little thing the people beneath them do wrong that may jeopardise their short time goals and ignore the bigger picture.

With employees under such pressure to perform and succeed, in unstable working environments where people are being laid off and financial strains are increasing, it perhaps comes as little surprise that fears, selfishness, and guarded perspectives are being cultivated, in which empathetic leadership is subsequently ignored. But how will these working environments help companies grow, succeed, and rise out of difficulties long term? We agree with Simon: there needs to be a shift in perspective. Rather than focusing on winning or losing, he believes companies need to start broadening their goals and thinking of success as an infinite game. Instead of being obsessed with the competition, there’s far more to be said for obsessing over where you’re going. And what does it take to succeed in an infinite game? There’s no set answer.