The Empathy Edge

Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success

Maria Ross

Furious customers? Missed deadlines? Failed products? Your business problems may stem from a single issue: lack of empathy.

In this practical playbook for organizations of all types, Maria Ross pairs her knowledge as a branding expert with proven research and fascinating stories from executives, changemakers, and community leaders to prove that empathy is great for business—and may transform you at a personal level, too.

Ross shows why your business needs to cultivate more empathy now, and shares the habits and traits of leaders who foster more productivity and loyalty. She gives practical tips, big and small, for how to align your mission with your values and hire the right people, cultivating a more innovative workplace culture. Finally, she gives you the goods on building your brand in an authentic and proactive way, and shows how doing so results in happier customers, market-leading offerings, and increased profits.


“The workplace is now more diverse than ever before. Building a stronger culture starts by relating to each other, regardless of background, age, or life experience. Maria Ross shows that empathy can be your superpower if you want to achieve your goals. She gives you solid tips to help you build your emotional intelligence, and harness the power of diverse perspectives if you want your organization to thrive.”

“In today’s crowded and noisy marketplace, humanity wins. Maria Ross’s compelling new book shows—through research, case studies, and practical advice—how compassion and cultivating an empathetic mindset can help leaders and brands stand out.”

“Today, the products and services of Company A and Company B are often engineered and optimized until they are indistinguishable. But one differentiator remains: empathy. This is a wise, passionate, motivating book that’s a must-read for every manager and executive.”


“Maria Ross shares hard-won lessons about the power of empathy from her experiences in the healthcare system and her years as a brand strategist to some of the top brands in the world to empower leaders and businesses of all kinds to treat their stakeholders with the compassion and care required to build customers for life. She provides practical steps for any organization to shift their cultural mindset in ways that will not only increase their productivity, retention, and financial success, but also improve their personal interactions. This book is exactly what we need right now to ensure our world is a lot more livable for all of us.”

 “Relationships are critical to success and your greatest asset. To enable productive relationships with colleagues, subordinates, and customers, individuals must approach those connections with empathy and compassion. This book brings theory and action together in one powerful resource to help organizations create a connected culture and prioritize people to fuel success. Empathy is a concept that needs to be embraced in the workplace—and Maria Ross shows us exactly how to do it.”

“Maria Ross is the perfect person to impart this wisdom because she’s an enthusiastic brand builder and her personal journey has been about giving and receiving life-affirming compassion. Not only does her book share insights about how empathetic leaders can drive outsized impact for their businesses, she engages the reader with her witty and heartwarming storytelling. This is one of those rare business books that is not just informative, but optimistic and enjoyable.”

“Maria Ross brings practical, compelling insights to one of the key attributes we must all build and grow if we hope to thrive on this planet: empathy. Empathy is one of those roots that will ground your success in all aspects of your life. The ability to understand others’ perspectives gives us a design edge for our business, an understanding of differences that creates more powerful relationships, and a happiness factor that is priceless. Read this book if you want to level up in all parts of your life.”

“Today, when top talent seeks not just a paycheck, but purpose and fulfillment at work, Maria Ross shows us that empathy is the foundation of thriving careers and cultures. Those organizations that figure it out will be the ones that succeed in the new economy, and those that don’t will be increasingly irrelevant—losing talent, productivity, and market demand. This book goes beyond theory to lay out specific actions leaders can take to build the brands and cultures of the future.”

“Maria Ross’s insightful book couldn’t have come at a better time. She shows why empathy is an intangible good that customers will happily pay for. The Empathy Edge is a wave worth riding.”

“The best marketers are able to articulate ‘the compelling reason to purchase’ their products and services. Maria Ross has crystallized this idea and given it a voice—today, empathy is the lens through which marketers can best understand what motivates their customer to choose their products over the competition.”


Maria Ross is the founder of Red Slice, a consultancy that advises entrepreneurs, start-ups, and fast-growth businesses on how to build an irresistible brand story and authentically connect with customers. She is a keynote speaker who regularly speaks to audiences on marketing and building an engaging brand story that drives growth and impact. She is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business and the Juicy Guides ebook series for entrepreneurs.

Maria started her career as a management consultant with Accenture and went on to build marketing and brand strategies for multiple companies, including Discovery Communications,, BusinessObjects (now SAP), and many other start-ups and technology leaders, before starting her own business.

As a brand strategist, she has worked with brands such as Microsoft, Dropbox, Alteryx, and GSK, as well as many smaller leaders in niche industries. Maria has been featured in and written for numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, Entrepreneur magazine, Huffington Post, and

Maria understands the power of empathy at both a brand and personal level: in 2008, six months after launching her business, she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that almost killed her. Her humorous and heartfelt memoir about surviving this health crisis, Rebooting My Brain, has received worldwide praise. Maria lives with her husband, young son, and precocious black lab mutt in the San Francisco Bay Area.

ISBN 978-1-989025-79-6
$19.95 CAD $16.95 USD
Published October 22, 2019
5.5 × 8.5 232 Pages