I would hardly call this content “fluff”! Empathy is critical in virtually all human interaction, and without it, our society—if it existed at all—would be very different. Early in the segment, you made a comment on receiving empathy that deserves a little more elaboration (perhaps at the risk of stating the obvious).

Specifically speaking to leaders that are entitled to trust and respect, empathy becomes increasingly difficult. As perception magnifies a person the shared experience others may with them diminishes. This fosters both the enticing belief that no challenge is too great, and the satisfying comfort that direction is certain to the leader. It is easy to find examples of this perception in human history and mythology. We deify people we hold in esteem but find ourselves wondering how we empathize with the likes of Superman.

I can speculate on the effects in practice, but my experience is limited enough that I cannot make any meaningful generalizations. There is, at least, an obvious paradox. Strong leadership is necessary for any project to succeed, and everyone on the team needs to feel secure in that leadership. Unfortunately, subordinates may inadvertently rely too much on managers without properly understanding the burdens those managers face.

This path may be avoided with the application of two previous Inner Chapter topics: communication and responsibility. Needless to say, it is all too easy to forget these and other important principles in the daily grind.