Every CEO needs a Don(na)

man buttoning his maroon formal suit jacket

Suits, the TV series, has spawned a sleuth of recognizable characters. If it is not Rachel (currently known as the Duchess of Sussex), then it is Donna. Donna is the person that knows everything about everyone. She knows the perfect things to say and do in any situation, is the perfect conscience, understands the spirit of the company and knows people’s desires. 

So why does a CEO need a Don or Donna? 

Do you know the feeling of it being lonely at the top of the pyramid? How it sometimes feels like you are out of touch with people that you think you should know better? How you don’t always connect with your team and how sometimes it feels like you say one thing and they do another? 

Maybe, just maybe, it is because you are not aware of how they react to you. Although we all have the ability to see how other people feel to a greater or lesser degree, we are not all masters at it. 

If your cognitive empathy is not that well developed, you have three choices: 

  1. Practice – you will become better at it
  2. Designate– choose someone that is great at it to tell you how others feel, and then listen
  3. Get a Don(na) – hire someone that is amazing at seeing how others feel, and that is present in most of your meetings.

If you want to know how good you or your Don(na) are at seeing how others feel, try the Empathy test at exponentially.me/assessments. If you think you are a Don(na) also read the “On Being Don(na)” article