Seung Chan Lim (Slim) lives to see a world, where everyone feels like they can reach out for support when they need it.
Seung Chan Lim (Slim) was born in Seoul, (South) Korea. From the age of 6 to 21, he moved from one country to another every 5 years or so.
After living in Korea, Egypt, and China, he moved to the U.S.A in 1995 for college, where he currently resides.
As an executive coach, Slim personally guides and accompanies CEOs of growth-stage startups on the journey of survival and innovation for their companies across North America, Asia, and Europe. Most notably, he has coached nearly 100 leaders through Singularity University’s Global Solutions program and SAP’s Mentors program.Having recently turned 42, Slim has spent 20+ years exploring the role of design and empathy in creativity and innovation. As a coach, he focuses on helping CEOs bring sincere empathy into (re)designing their relationships and interactions not only with their co-founders, employees, investors, board members, and customers, but also themselves.
Prior to becoming a coach, he was a design consultant for fortune 500 companies, where he subscribed to a philosophy of design called “human-centered design” whose foundation is based on empathy. High-tech products & services he has helped design have won a number of awards including the CES Innovation award.
Slim is also the author of the book "Realizing Empathy." He has shared the message of this book with over 15,000 people across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The book has won a number of awards including the National Indie Excellence® Book Awards: New Non Fiction for content and the Communication Arts Typography Annual Award of Excellence for design.
Slim’s career started in 1999 at MAYA Design (A Boston Consulting Group Company) helping fortune 500 companies innovate through human-centered design. From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs for companies struggling to innovate came when they became aware of their unawareness & biases toward their customers by realizing empathy with them.
After leaving behind his career as a design consultant, Slim conducted anthropological research at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University on how artists innovate differently from human-centered designers. From this experience, he learned that breakthroughs for visual & performing artists struggling to innovate came when they became aware of their unawareness & biases toward themselves, their subject matters, or their materials by realizing empathy with them.
Slim now applies what he has learned from the above two experiences to guide and accompany CEOs on a journey of innovation for their companies. From this experience, he sees that CEOs are like artists: burdened with so much uncertainty and complexity that it’s no wonder they feel lonely, isolated, and anxious. So he starts by helping them become aware of the unawareness & biases underlying such emotions. Why? So they can more effectively lead their organization through innovation. How? By inspiring from within them what is required to do so: the realization of empathy.
- “Being present to a vulnerable expression of honesty is a privilege. It surprises us, challenges us, and reminds us of what it means to be human. It is what gives us the courage to vulnerably express our own honesty.
- “Many of us are trained to perceive all conflicts as problems to be solved. Most conflicts are not problems, but paradoxes.
- “Paradoxes cannot be solved. They can only be dissolved by learning a new perspective, where the conflict no longer is.
- “To empathize is to feel connected or at one with what we could have otherwise objectified or felt separated from.
- “To realize empathy we must notice ourselves objectify or separate, then choose another way of being. Difficult under stress!
- “Demanding diversity and inclusion is easy. What’s difficult is navigating conflicts that arise amidst diversity and inclusion.
- “It isn’t mere diversity and inclusion we need. It’s unity amidst diversity and inclusion without conformity. This is impossible without empathy.
- “Without the ability to realize empathy amidst conflict, diversity and inclusion can merely fuel fragmentation and resentment.
- “Empathizing may accompany feelings of resonance or coherence, but those are not objective measures of understanding.
- “Verification alone can determine the accuracy and precision of our understanding. Yet, no method can verify perfect understanding.
- “We can empathize and still misunderstand. That’s not necessarily bad. I find it presumptuous to claim we understand.
Slim was heard saying...