Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • Well, one of them for sure would be the US Military Academy at Westpoint! The conversation we had with them was really enlightening. The superintendent of the school, who’s a 3-star general, I asked him “why am I here? What makes empathy so important to you that you’d bring an outside civilian consultant to teach it to cadets?” And he said “You know, there are 2 immediate things that come to mind. The first is we are a military governed by civilians. If we don’t know how to take perspective of congress, or the commander in chief, or the general population, if we can’t understand why we are being deployed, what political situation is taking place, then we’re blindly going. So perspective-taking is critical for us, because we need to know why and understand the context. It’s not enough to just be told, we have to understand at a deeper level.” The other thing he said was in his entire career, the number one skill that any great leader has exhibited with him was the ability to be empathic - to connect with someone else, to use that information and perspective to gain richer and deeper understanding and connection. He said “I’m acutely aware that many of our cadets will not be career military people. They may do a couple tours, then go into the private sector. So I want to make sure when someone scans a CV, and they see they are getting a graduate of Westpoint, they know they are getting an empathic leader.” So I was pretty surprised when he called, because my perspective of the value that empathy might offer to a military academy was flipped on its head.