John Wiley & Sons The Empathy Advantage Cover Empower and Inspire Human Potential In the decade before the Covid-19 pandemic, change was coming s.. Product #: 978-1-394-15551-4 Regular price: $25.14 $25.14 In Stock

The Empathy Advantage

Leading the Empowered Workforce

McGowan, Heather E. / Shipley, Chris


1. Edition March 2023
240 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-394-15551-4
John Wiley & Sons

Further versions


Empower and Inspire Human Potential

In the decade before the Covid-19 pandemic, change was coming so quickly and across so many vectors that most business leaders - so busy tackling one new challenge after another - missed the trendlines that would collide in the early months of 2020 and forever change their workforce and how they lead it for generations to come.

In The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce, Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley team up again to deliver a guidebook for leaders navigating the uncertainty of a post pandemic world in a sequel to their successful book The Adaptation Advantage. Leaders today must acknowledge and respond to the fundamental shifts that lay the foundation for effective leadership: From managing people to enabling success, from viewing peers as competitors to seeing them as collaborators, from applying extrinsic pressure on workers to unlocking intrinsic motivation, and from driving productivity with unquestioned authority to inspiring value creation by leading with empathy.

In this book, you will learn about the five interlocking trends that brought us the empowered workforce: The Great Resignation, the Great Refusal, the Great Reshuffle, the Great Retirement, and the Great Relocation collectively delivered the Great Reset. These trends, building for a decade prior to the pandemic, saw employees leading jobs; restructuring where and how they work, accelerating retirement, and reordering the role of work in their lives.

The Empathy Advantage offers advice on how to lead a complex, diverse, and multi-generational workforce to out-perform your competition. This book will inspire you to:
* Rethink Your Workforce: You'll gain new insights into today's empowered workforce and how best to tap their intrinsic motivations.
* Rethink Your Organization: You'll learn how to reorganize work to become resilient in continuous change.
* Rethink Your Leadership: You'll discover superpowers and unleash your Empath Advantage.

Whether you are a seasoned executive or an emerging leader, The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce speaks to those who are ready to embrace a more influential and engaging form of leadership, and will earn a place in the libraries of anyone with responsibility for recruiting, engaging, leading and retaining the next generation of workers.

Foreword: Embrace The Forever-Changed Workforce xv

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction: Discover The New Normal of Work 1

Everything Is Different Now 2

Covid as Change Agent 3

A New Bargain 4

Sidebar: The Great Resignation: A Long Time Coming 6

Not Your Grandparents' Workforce 7

What's a Leader to Do? 9

Notes 10

Part I: Rethink Your Workforce 13

Notes 15

1 Meet Your New Workforce 17

A Workforce Without a Majority 18

Meet the Pan- Generational Workforce 19

Sidebar: Managing the Multigenerational Workforce 20

Women Hold Up Half the Workforce 21

The LGBTQ+ Workforce 24

Sidebar: Navigating Gender: From Fixed to Fluid 25

The Case for a Multidimensional and Diverse Workforce 27

Generational Empathy 28

Sidebar: Meet Generation Z 29

Notes 30

2 Understand Your Workers' New Habits 35

We Are No Longer Who We Were 36

Sidebar: The Pandemic Compressed Time 37

The Empowered Worker: Your Most Valuable New Asset 40

Sidebar: Where Work Takes Place Today 41

Sidebar: The Center Shifts 45

Sidebar: The Great Relocation 46

The Through Line: Creating Life/Work Integration 50

Sidebar: The Rise of Bleisure 51

Notes 53

3 Grok the Empowered Mindset 57

Rebalancing Work and Life 59

A New Approach to Work 60

Sidebar: The Hierarchy of Work Engagement 62

Work That Is Worth It 63

Sidebar: Origins of the Great Resentment 64

Healing Our Whole Selves: Mental Health and Burnout Are Real 66

Sidebar: How to Spot Burnout 67

Relationships Matter 68

Humans Are Your Greatest Source of Value 69

Sidebar: History Rhymes: Our Opportunity Is Now 70

Changing the Goal 71

The Empathy Advantage 72

Notes 72

Profile: Aqueduct Technologies: Really Great Ideas, Really Happy Employees 75

Part II: Rethink Your Organization 77

4 Upgrade Your Operating Models 81

What Are We Leaving Behind? 82

Sidebar: The Rise of the Human Value Era 83

What Are We Moving Toward? 85

Sidebar: Lead Differently in Complexity 86

More Frequent Disruptions 87

Listen Carefully: Change Is the Norm 89

Forging a New Path to the Future of Work 89

Understand the Relationship Between the Individual and Organization 90

Rethink Work and Learning 91

Sidebar: The Skills Gap May Never Close 92

Recalibrate Your Metrics: Be Like Bhutan 93

It's Time to Finally Address Burnout 95

Benefits for Whose Benefit? 96

Flexibility Is Key to Empathetic Leadership 98

How We Lead Without Maps: Focus on Your People 98

Notes 99

Profile: Mercy: Leadership Through Community 101

5 Create the Conditions to Thrive 103

Rethinking Jobs 104

Hire for Culture, Train for Specific Skills 106

Sidebar: Rethinking Work and Jobs 107

Reporting for (Tour of) Duty 108

Where Work Gets Done 109

Curating the Return to Office 111

Creating the Conditions to Thrive 113

Sidebar: Understanding DEI and B 116

Unleash the Power of Belonging 117

Sidebar: The Importance of Belonging 118

Knitting a Psychological Safety Net 119

Creating the Conditions to Learn at Scale 120

Social Capital Creates Collective Intelligence 121

Organizing to Collaborate 122

Sidebar: Peers as Collaborators 123

Finding Joy in Work 124

Notes 125

6 Enable Your Empowered Workforce 129

Culture: The Operating Instructions for Your Organization 130

Recognizing Toxic Culture 131

Building Mindful Culture 131

Sidebar: Nurturing Culture Through Dialogue 132

Living Your Values 133

Sidebar: Beliefs + Behaviors + Benefits = Culture 135

Trust: The Cornerstone of Healthy Culture 136

Finding Purpose at Work 137

Sidebar: The Three Faces of Purpose 138

Purpose: Your Most Enduring Competitive Advantage 140

Sidebar: The Great Reset Opportunity: Why We Work 142

The Trouble with Purpose 144

Notes 145

Profile: The Canteen: Becoming a Place of Purpose and Belonging 147

Part III: Rethinking Your Leadership 149

Notes 151

7 Pilot Your Expedition Team 153

What Is an Expedition? 154

What to Leave at Base Camp 154

Sidebar: Understand Your Expedition Team 155

Continued Uncertainty Means Continual Expeditions 157

Sidebar: Navigating Rising Global Uncertainty 158

Prepare to Cut a Different Path 159

Care for Your Expedition Team 162

Sidebar: Focus on the Fundamentals 164

Create Enthusiasm Around the Expedition 165

Yes, You Are a Career Coach Now 166

Take That First Step 167

Notes 168

8 Embrace Your Superpowers 171

The Power of Vulnerability and Not Knowing 172

The Power of Awareness 173

The Power of Candor 174

Sidebar: The Four Leadership Shifts 176

The Power of Listening 177

Sidebar: Mindset Shift: You Work for Talent 180

The Power of Being Human 181

Sidebar: Behavioral Shift: Change in Leadership Profile 182

Become the Resilient Leader 183

Notes 184

Profile: sparks & honey: Building a Practice of Gratitude 185

9 Emerge the Empathic Leader 187

The Pandemic Was a Quiet Teacher 189

Sidebar: The Cumulative Shifts Between Individuals and Organizations 190

Understanding Empathy 192

Empathy Is Good Business 194

Empathy, Trust, and Compassion: The Trifecta of Superior Leadership 195

The Power of Listening 197

Welcome to Tomorrow: Leading in Uncertainty 198

Notes 198

About the Authors 201

Praise for The Adaptation Advantage 203

Index 205
Heather E. McGowan ( and Chris Shipley ( are internationally recognized speakers, writers, and Future of Work strategists.