Amy J. Wilson: Leadership’s Larger Duty and Avoiding Empathy Deficit Disorder

How do we even start creating a more empathetic society? Even more specifically, what is our own personal role and responsibility in enriching the world? 

These are just two of the questions that I talk about with my guest, community builder, innovation expert and author Amy Wilson on today’s episode. Creating a more empathetic society starts with all of us taking action, but it also requires leaders who understand and value this duty as well. If we want systems or organizations to change, we need to get innovative about new solutions and new definitions of power – but it also requires a pledge for all of us, as leaders, to act with integrity, equity, and honesty. Stay tuned for a great conversation with actionable items that we all can do today. 

Key Takeaways:

  • There are four things that need to be brought together with empathy: dignity, curiosity, equity, and humility. 
  • When it comes to awareness, there is no silver bullet solution, but rather a million approaches that can be taken. 
  • Globalization is realizing that we have shared power. Power is a currency that you can give to people at different times. 

“We’re at a crossroads right now. We either go down the path of narcissism, of power over people, or the path of empathy and giving up power and giving agency to the people to change the world around them. We have to make this decision soon.” —  Amy J. Wilson

About Amy J. Wilson: 

Amy J. Wilson is a community builder, movement maker, and an empathy advocate. 

Her journey to sparking change started in AmeriCorps, leading a project to rebuild 50 homes in four months in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. She was a chief architect of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Building a Culture of Innovation movement, which transformed the 100-year old firm. Amy later served for three years as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, where she created a shared language and led a movement for innovation and change in government. In her debut book, Empathy for Change: How to Create a More Understanding World, she hopes to inspire others to embrace kindness to enrich the world. In her free time, she enjoys

baking pies, traveling internationally, and telling stories.

We talked about how her past experience as a public entrepreneur framed her thinking on empathy, why the AmeriCorps pledge is so important for today’s leaders, and Empathy Deficit Disorder, which may be why it’s so hard for us to speak truth to power.

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