One Caring Leader Shows the Ultimate Display of Compassion


What defines your relationship with the company you choose to work for? Is it a collection of moments and experiences? Or is it the people?

For I-Sah Hsieh that connection can be traced back to one moment in time and tied back to one person.

Loyalty experienced like never before

Ten years ago, at the height of the Great Recession, job layoffs were a standard news announcement. That trend had everyone across the United States, especially in the tech sector, nervous and fearful that their company and their role would be eliminated next. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight recognized that fear and made a company wide statement. That statement would forever change I-Sah’s perception of work and his connection to SAS.

During the annual executive webcast, Goodnight made a commitment to all employees. He promised that in 2009 no layoffs would happen for SAS employees. In return, all he asked was that employees also make a commitment – to work hard and keep expenses low.

"I'd never seen that kind of loyalty and care from an employer. That certainly changed how I looked at my employment at SAS," said I-Sah. "It inspired me on a whole new level."

The impact of a company that cares deeply

That moment challenged I-Sah to think differently about his own work and reconsider how he represented the company. At the time, he served as SAS' account executive for the United Nations. The U.N. is dedicated to doing wonderful things for the world, but limited by their own funding. By partnering with SAS, the U.N. can now use data and analytics to modernize disaster response, predict unemployment through social media and much more. Those achievements couldn't happen without analytics. But they also couldn't happen without an organization like SAS that cares deeply about doing good in the world.

"When you work for a company that cares so much, it creates this culture that keeps us from turning our backs on problems we know analytics can solve," said I-Sah. "I'm so grateful to work for a company that doesn't want to just tell great stories but wants to make it so that anyone can be part of the story and help create some new stories."

Today, I-Sah helps make more great stories possible through his work on SAS' Corporate Social Innovation and Brand team. The team manages GatherIQ and identifies social innovation projects that tell the story of how data and analytics are helping to improve our world.

Executive commitment and genuine care for people has forever marked I-Sah's career at SAS. That demonstration of true, genuine care for people shaped how I-Sah views his career, how he serves SAS customers and how he influences the world.



About Author

Anjelica Cummings

Manager, Social Innovation Programs, Partnerships and Communications

Anjelica Cummings manages SAS' Social Innovation programs, partnerships and communications strategy. She is responsible for leading a senior team of experts who bring SAS' analytics and advocacy efforts together. The Social Innovation programs and partnerships apply SAS® technology toward the world's most pressing needs. Anjelica brings a decade of communications experiences to her role. Over the years she has developed, led and implemented strategic communications programs for dozens of national organizations. Whether it's a strategy designed for the media, customers, partners, employees or the community, Anjelica believes the fundamentals of communications remain the same: To bring greater understanding, visibility and connection to the issues that matter most. She is a guest lecturer for North Carolina State University and a former board member of the International Association of Business Communicators.

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