The Center for Creative Leadership did a study with data from 6,731 managers from 38 countries. Their study found that the ability to understand what others are feeling is a skill that clearly contributes to effective leadership. In some cultures, the connection between empathy and performance is particularly striking, placing an even greater value on empathy as a leadership skill.
The findings were consistent across the sample: empathy is positively related to job performance. Managers who show more empathy toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses.
Via Edwin Rutsch, Mary Perfitt-Nelson, David Hain