The choice is yours

Once upon a time, entrepreneurs had to choose between compassion and results.

They chose the latter, and it (sometimes) worked.

Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu got to his $93 billion by systemically building monopolies, charging telecom consumers with very little accessibility some of the highest fees in the world, and prioritizing “accomplishing things” rather than “giving.” In pursuing dominion at any cost to others, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote tweaked macroeconomic policies in his own favor, and India’s Gautam Adani manipulated the country’s stock market.

Today, the narrative in business is very different. We don’t care for the attitudes of “Kill or be killed,” “Show no vulnerability,” “Crush your competition,” and “Keep your head down.”

We want leaders who care for themselves and others. We want them to feel what we feel. We want them to be compassionate, kind, human…and to show it.

We no longer want to “Always Be Closing.” We want to “Always Be Connecting.”

Empathy is finally a top business priority.

But let me be clear. Empathy is not an excuse for a wishy-washy workplace free of commitment to results. Empathy is not softness, and it is not mere courtesy. What it is is a potent blend of emotional intelligence, intention, flexibility, respect, transparency, collaboration, and humility.

As a leader, your style may lean toward democratic, situational, commanding, authentic, or something else – but to make your mark in this new world, you will need to bring service and empathy into the fold.

In today's email:

  • Featured founder: Brazilian entrepreneur Amancio Junior finds success with a secret ingredient

  • Becoming better: Great entrepreneurs master this overlooked skill

  • Think like a global entrepreneur: Wrap your head around the crisis that could impact your business

  • Weekly medley: Kenya’s stranded refugees are becoming e-commerce leaders, and Latina entrepreneurs are busting ceilings in Fem-Tech

  • Watchlist: Different forms of empathy from the Mergerous community

Brazil’s Amancio Junior finds success through empathetic leadership

Brazilian entrepreneur Amancio Junior expanded his team to 15 countries in less than a decade. His secret? Walking in someone else’s shoes.

Amancio is the CEO and co-founder of Analyticalways, an A.I. inventory management company based in Madrid. Because of his leadership rooted in empathy, he’s built and attracted a global workforce that’s achieved a 99% customer retention rate.

Amancio’s story is special because it debunks a common myth: that leaders must prioritize profitability over compassion. His people-focused approach proves that empathy doesn’t mean neglecting the product or compromising quality.

Read Amancio’s story to learn how emphatic leadership is critical to a company’s success.

💪 Becoming better

Hone your leadership skills with these insider tips:

Start with the basics

Learn what empathy is (and what it’s not) and how leaders can communicate with more of it, courtesy of communication coach Alex Lyon.

Apply it to your role

Executive leadership coach Lolly Daskal, whose expertise spans 14 countries, six languages, and hundreds of companies, shares ways you can be an emphatic leader.

Brush up your listening skills

Because you need to be if you want to be a successful entrepreneur — and an empathetic one. Brush up your listening skills with tips from India-based writer Monty Majeed.

🎭 Think like a global entrepreneur

Think, build, grow. Three essential pillars of entrepreneurship. For every newsletter issue, we dive deep into a specific topic under one of these pillars:

  1. Think (mental models, mindset, creativity, productivity, problem-solving)

  2. Build (teams, products, companies, systems, relationships)

  3. Grow (revenue, customer base, market share, operations, personal growth)

This week, let’s think about climate change and what it means for your business.

It is HOT, and it seems like no one is spared. Times of India reports record-breaking temperatures have swept the globe recently. Sadly, this is our new normal due to climate change, which has major implications for economies — like those in Africa.

So the big question: are you thinking about how to prepare your business for this reality? While at it, could you consider how to make your business more sustainable? Here are some resources to get your brain flowing:

Have a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Drop us a line at [email protected].

🗞️ Weekly medley

Every week, we scan the entrepreneurial world for news you can’t miss.

  • In Kenya, ~570,000 refugees have been cut off from financial assistance due to a lack of U.N. funding. To survive, hundreds of them are turning into entrepreneurs. Amidst profound uncertainty, refugees are learning to make waves in e-commerce and become self-reliant with organizations such as ‘Youth Voices Community.’

  • Elsewhere in Kenya, a “Shark Tank” style event has invested $5,000 in high-school students building market-based products that solve local community challenges. First place was awarded to a group envisioning better feminine hygiene products for young girls; it is heartening to see the sector grow 5.7% each year.

  • Across the continent in Nigeria, entrepreneur Chude Jideonwo’s startup ‘RED’ Media is on a mission to spread happiness across Africa – despite his struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome. This leader measures his company’s trust rate (94%), joy rate (96%), and retention rate (100%).

  • Meanwhile, Mastercard has launched solutions for women business owners in South America and the Caribbean. The region has a great deal of gender bias, and such ventures are likely to boost empathy-driven start-ups in the burgeoning Fem-Tech space. Latina Giovanna Abramo and Lorena Ostos’s gynecology venture ‘Plenna’ raised $845,000. Argentinian Ana Fukelman and Irina Corsunsky’s ‘Lunar App’ is busting taboos inherited from a patriarchal take on medicine. And Chilean Josefa Cortés’s ‘Palpa’ is helping save lives with early breast cancer detection.

🔎 Watchlist

Tune in to the Mergerous community for inspiration: Dutch entrepreneur Lauren Schuivens has made inner peace the heart of her business, Sweden’s Moa Gürbüzer is building a business while protecting the world from the detrimental effects of alcohol, and Ukraine’s Uliana Torkunova is coaching other entrepreneurs in finding motivation.

Bringing empathy into the forefront of your mission and workplace might be challenging, but it pays enormous dividends.

The good news? There are many different ways to make it happen — and the choice is yours.

The not-so-great news? The latest issue of the ‘Global Empathy Index’ for companies was published… in 2016! It had Silicon Valley tech giants at the top and some of India’s old conglomerates at the bottom.

A lot’s changed since then, empathy is among today's top leadership skills, and if a new list of empathetic companies was published today, I suspect it’d look quite different.

Until next time,

Nolan Bulger

Founder, Mergerous Media Co.

P.S. Did you like this issue? It’s the first one, so I’d love your feedback, constructive criticism, ideas for upcoming issues — whatever’s on your mind. Send it over!