Why I Became the World’s First Director of Compassion

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Brighton Jones is living proof that being competitive in business and being compassionate are not mutually exclusive.

By Cory Custer

I’ve been the director of compassion at Brighton Jones for close to a year now, and I still enjoy seeing the reactions I get from people when I introduce myself. After the disbelief wears off, however, what always follows is a question along the lines of, “What does that mean?”

Simply put, my work is to promote the value of compassion and put it into action in the Brighton Jones community. That’s the what of my role. To understand why Brighton Jones would create a director of compassion role, you have to look to our mission, which is to help our clients, colleagues, and community live richer lives. This means our company’s highest purpose is to help as many people as we can live more joyful, peaceful, and purposeful lives. To me, this means we are essentially in the happiness business!

compassion brighton jones

So how does this mission relate to compassion? It’s really quite straight-forward. We believe nothing promotes happiness more than compassion. When we are doing things for others, they are happier and we are happier. It’s a true win-win. And, as we’re learning, it’s exactly this compassion-happiness win-win that builds healthier relationships, healthier organizations, and healthier communities.

Fueled by an ever-growing body of scientific evidence to support our belief that compassion drives happiness—other people’s and our own—we’re investing heavily to promote compassion and put it into action. How? Currently, we’re doing this through our philanthropic efforts, where we contribute 1 percent of our revenue and thousands of hours to philanthropy, and through our training programs, which teach mindfulness, empathy, compassion, and self-compassion to our employees, clients, and others in the Brighton Jones community.

No doubt I have the best job in the world. I love my company, my colleagues, and my role. However, what I think I am most excited about is that Brighton Jones is living proof that being competitive in business and being compassionate are not mutually exclusive. I think of us as a “proof statement” that is particularly needed in these times. In fact, our future may depend on it!

Cory Custer serves as the director of compassion at Brighton Jones. This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

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