Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday Compassion as Google Business Strategy

“Compassion leads to happiness, compassion is fun. What if compassion is also profitable? What if compassion is good for business?

“Google is a company born of idealism. Expressions of corporate compassion start with a small group of Googlers, and they don’t usually ask for permission, then they get bigger and bigger until they become official.”

“Compassion creates highly effective business leaders: “I feel for you, I understand you, I want to help you.”

“Leaders highly ambitious for the greater good feel no need to inflate their own egos. Understanding, empathy, tones down the excesses of our own ego — creating leaders able to focus on a project rather than themselves.”

“Compassion also inspires co-workers and promotes collaboration, initiative, and creativity. “It makes us a highly effective company.”

“What is the secret formula for brewing compassion in a corporate setting? There are three ingredients:

“First, create a culture of compassionate concern for the greater good — how is your company, and your job serving the greater good? This awareness of serving a greater good is very self-inspiring, and, it creates fertile grounds for compassion to grow in.”

“The second ingredient is autonomy. “Google is a place where the inmates run the asylum.” If you already have a culture of compassion and idealism, and, you let your people run free? They will do the right thing.”

“The third ingredient is to focus on inner development and personal growth: self-awareness, self-mastery, empathy, and compassion. Leadership begins with character: attention training to create a calm, clear quality of mind as a foundation for emotional intelligence; developing self-knowledge and self-mastery as a high-resolution third-person perspective on one’s own thoughts; create new mental habits…your first impulse upon meeting someone: “I want you to be happy…I want you to be happy,” creating trust and compassion within the workplace.”

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion.”