Do You Have A CEO (Chief Empathy Officer)?

Written by Laurie Hillis

Hi, I’m Laurie Hillis, I love what I do: the learning, the process, and above all, seeing how my clients grow as leaders.


August 14, 2020

I had the most extraordinary call with one of my leadership coaching clients this past week. 

She was lamenting that her Saboteurs (those voices that keep us full of anxiety and stress) were causing her to lose sleep, to think that she “was not enough” and to rob her of much of life’s enjoyment.

She said, “I’m getting rid of my Saboteur board of directors and appointing my Sage brain as my CEO”. Sage is a term referring to our five superpowers that are expressed as empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion and purpose.  

I asked my client, “oh, is that your Chief Executive Officer”? 

To which she smiled and said, 

“no that’s my Chief Empathy Officer”.

What a novel idea! How often in our lives when things go wrong, we are our own worst enemies? If you are like most of us, it can be habitual. Kristin Neff, a well-known self-compassion researcher ( states that: “with self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” Powerful.

Saboteurs are also known as Inner Critics or Gremlins, and they are the part of us that says, usually in a condescending voice: “don’t get too big for your britches,” “who do you think you are,” “this is too scary” and “you really screwed that one up.” They pretend to be our friends and want to keep us safe, but they keep us small. They can paralyze us with feelings of guilt, fear, anger, anxiety, insecurity and shame. Nothing positive. The Sage brain, on the other hand, motivates us through positive emotions to feel more grounded, calm and operating from a place of choice. We call it mental fitness.

Fascinating work, and if you want a great read this fall, I highly recommend Positive Intelligence here.

Oh, and if you are interested in knowing more about your pesky Saboteurs and their limiting lies, check out this link where you can take a complimentary assessment offered by Shirzad Chamine, researcher and author. Contact me today if you’d like to know more about strategies to engage your inner Sage and reduce the power of your Saboteurs, it’s fascinating leadership work that is a game-changer.

Let’s connect:

If you want to know more about Megatrain and how we can work together, drop me a line:

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