Lefkofsky Talks About the Need for More Empathy
People who have success in the realm of business innovation, like Eric Lefkofsky, may not always be noted for their deep thought on more philosophical issues. It would be wrong to discount Lefkofsky, however, as a man of personal creativity and deep thinking, as Lefkofsky is a high level tech entrepreneur who also uses his wide-ranging curiosity to delve into questions on social issues even if they are not perfectly aligned with the concerns of the business world.
Lefkofsky’s Current and Past Start-Up Companies
Lefkofsky is a tech entrepreneur who founded or co-founded numerous highly successful startup businesses. These range from Tempus, the tech company that is creating a new infrastructure that is helping to speed up and enhance communications between doctors and cancer patients, to Lightbank, the disruptive venture tech venture funding company. Lefkofsky has also been part of launching Inner Workings, Mediaocean and many more tech startups. Lefkofsky’s involvement in these companies has kept him incredibly engaged, yet he still finds the time to muse over some of the issues and problems we face in society.
Recently, Lefkofsky took up the issue of empathy as a concept in our society, and why the lack of it in so many areas is hurting us all. The issue came to him upon hearing a Christine Aguilera song, “Hurt.” The song features the singer’s standard soulful vocals, but the heart of what got him thinking about this issue was the thought behind the song. The song deals with a young woman whose father has passed, and her realization of the regret she has over mistreating him while he was alive. Ultimately, she realizes that the pain she caused him ultimately hurt her more than it did him.
As Lefkofsky notes, the song deals with the real problems a lack of empathy can cause, and how in the end, the real victim of an uncaring attitude is the person who inflicts it on others. Bullies lack empathy, and they cause incredible pain because they are unwilling to see life from another person’s perspective. Anyone who has a lack of empathy for others is someone with the capacity to hurt someone else and cause incredible damage, which is why the lack of empathy we often see in our business world as well as society at large is something that should be addressed.
What If We Made a Point of Having More Real Empathy in the World?
As Lefkofsky notes, his work with Tempus heightened his awareness of his own empathy as he watched physicians treat patients with cancer. The goal of Tempus is to speed the delivery of information to doctors who area treating patients so they have access to the most up-to-date and advanced knowledge possible, as regards treatment systems and the patient’s personal history as well. This experience made him keenly aware of how much people go through while in treatment, and how important it is that they are treated in an empathetic fashion.
Ultimately, Lefkofsky notes, a world in which our society dealt in a more empathetic way would be a world with fewer lawsuits, fewer divorces, less violence and no wars. It might seem like an impossible dream, but isn’t is one worth striving for?
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