Andrea Butcher: Balancing Empathy, Accountability, and Vulnerability

The most popular question I get, by far, is how to balance empathy and accountability. often a false impression of empathy that makes us ask this question in the first place.

Today, I’m talking with Andrea Butcher, CEO of HRD, a Leadership Development Company. Andrea is a visionary—she knows how to lead organizations from big picture to execution. Today we talk about what emerging leaders are asking for in leadership development programs, which skills they want to strengthen, and what is vital to help all leaders in today’s landscape be successful. We discuss how the work of leadership is self-development, how empathy and accountability co-exist, and why clear communication is so vital because you can’t hold someone accountable to an expectation that was never set. She shares a lovely story about showing up as yourself, and another about how to respond to someone who has dropped the ball.

 To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at 

Key Takeaways:

  • Every leader should have a coach. Everyone can benefit from having a safe place to struggle through challenges. 
  • As humans, we connect through weakness and vulnerability. But it takes confidence to feel those emotions and show that vulnerability while still recognizing your worth. 
  • Asking for feedback from trusted employees and advisors is a great path forward in becoming a better leader. It will do a lot to build trust and reinforce the relationship too. 

 “You can’t hold someone accountable for an expectation that has not been set. So much of the time it’s the lack of clarity that’s getting in the way.”

—  Andrea Butcher

Episode References: 


About Andrea Butcher, CEO, HRD

Andrea is a visionary—she knows how to lead organizations from big picture to execution. She is a dynamic speaker, executive coach, and facilitator. As the CEO of HRD – A Leadership Development Company, she leads a national team of expert facilitators and coaches and drives the organization’s growth strategy. She also hosts a daily and weekly leadership podcast, Being [at Work] and is the author of The Power in the Pivot (Red Thread Publishing 2022) and HR Kit for Dummies (Wiley 2023). In 2020, she was recognized by the Indianapolis Women’s Journal as a Woman of Influence. 

Andrea’s work spans organizations of all sizes and industries all over the world; she has experience in global HR positions, consulting, operations, and executive roles for private and public organizations. 

Andrea is also the co-founder and President of Next Gen Talent, a program specifically designed to equip emerging HR leaders for success.

Connect with Andrea:  


Being [at Work] and Daily Dose: 



Andrea’s speaking page: 

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