Consider what happens when you read a novel. Engrossed in the narrative, you are invited to imagine the world from a character’s perspective. You think about the interplay between a person’s desires and her actions. When you listen to music, go to the theater, or visit a museum, you have an emotional response—one that connects you with other people and new perspectives.

We develop our emotional intelligence—and learn skills of empathy, imagination, and understanding—through the humanities. These skills, if cultivated, enable leaders to respond successfully to challenges and opportunities in every sector. Our scientists are better at their work if they read literature; our diplomats and our generals are more effective when they understand languages; our data scientists are able to think beyond algorithms when they experience art and music.