Donato Tramuto: The Double-Bottom Line of Compassionate Leadership

“We are finding that putting people first and delivering results are not two separate goals.” So says my guest today, Donato Tramuto. Today, we talk about the case for compassionate leadership and how to achieve it. We discussed so much in this very poignant and passionate interview where we each shared some very personal stories and philosophies – Donato talks about how his childhood hearing loss and being bullied sharpened his compassionate character, how he doubled down on purpose and people after experiencing his profound loss on 9/11, and how he has tailored his prestigious career to focus on people and connection first in order to lead to performance and profit. Donato shares the definition of compassionate leadership and how it shows up in action. Why we must update key roles in the organization, such as HR, CEO’s, and why much of this starts with the Board itself. We speak about what Gen Z and Millennials bring to the workplace and a new practice he calls “collbovation”.  This interview will be all the proof you need that the most successful leaders lead with compassion, not ego. SO MANY PROFOUND GEMS you’ll want to write down and keep by your workspace – enjoy!

Key Takeaways:

  • To avoid empathy overload, use Donato’s Three T Concept: Tenderness, Tenacity and Tough Decisions. 
  • It doesn’t matter how much you did or how much you will do, what matters is that you did something. If every person could do a little more good in the world, the world would be a wonderful place. 
  • Compassionate leadership has to be a two-way street. You must be empathetic in the face of disagreeing and in finding common ground even in the face of adversity. 
  • You have to ask the questions that allow you to understand the other person’s pain. 

“You rent your title; you own your dignity.  I’ve never looked at my life by the title that I have but by its purpose, meaning and problems that have to be solved.” —  Donato Tramuto

About Donato Tramuto, CEO, Business Leader, Innovator, and Philanthropist:

Donato Tramuto is a global health activist, former CEO of Tivity Health, and founder of the Tramuto Foundation and Health eVillages. He was the recipient of the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award in 2014, alongside Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, and Tony Bennett, and the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Embracing His Legacy Award. 

In his new book, The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results Tramuto makes the case that compassion is a key leadership principle that:

– Powerfully drives trust, success, and innovation;

– Raises morale, builds stronger teams, and improves overall performance;

– Creates sustainable commitment to an organization’s mission and values.

Tramuto interviewed nearly 40 successful leaders who practice compassionate leadership and reveals the best strategies from their playbooks. He then combined these interviews with his own insights, numerous studies, and original, qualitative research of 1,500 participants to unleash the measurable data and benefits of compassion in the workplace.

Connect with Donato Tramuto


Book: The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results (Fast Company Press)

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