Are you out of touch with your business? Do you understand your business in the context of your customers?

Whatever product or service you provide, is it designed and delivered to meet their needs? Or, like many business owners, have you created an efficient process that delivers a good product or service but can’t seem to push past that ever present glass ceiling?

Leaders who are not humanizing their business to evolve their relevance based on customer needs are out of sync with today’s business standards.

If you keep bumping up against that ceiling, you are not alone, but you may be out of touch. True founders start out with a mission to serve a discovered need, with a pure focus on meeting that need for a particular group of people. As they grow their market share and business, they shift to focusing on infrastructure and operations. Often this can separate them from really seeing their customer in the midst of economic pressures, and their understanding of what the market really wants becomes diluted.

What distinguishes the great from the good here is the ability to shift the models from internally focused to people focused with empathetic models.

According to Lady Geek’s Empathy Global Index, the top 10 most empathetic companies in the index — including companies like Microsoft, Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Walt Disney — “increased in value more than twice as much” as the bottom 10 companies. Shifting the focus of your leaders and the rest of your team is possible, and focusing on customers first can generate huge wins.

Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else’s feelings. – merriam-webster