Saturday, April 22, 2017

CEO Fiascos Typically Start With A Lack Of Empathy

On any given day, it’s pretty easy to find examples of CEOs behaving badly. Recently we’ve had Oscar Munoz from United Airlines and Travis Kalanick from Uber, among many others. They’ve faced public outrage for behaviors that, at least initially, indicated a dearth of empathy.

We can think of empathy as seeing the world, or a particular situation, from another person’s viewpoint. Atticus Finch, the moral guide and conscience in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, sets this as a key life lesson for his daughter when he tells her, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” George Herbert Mead, the great American philosopher, said it’s “the capacity to take the role of the other and to adopt alternative perspectives vis-à-vis oneself.” In short, can you put yourself in another person’s mind and see the world as they do?

April 22, 2017 at 12:14AM

from Editor