EPIC Leadership

The EPIC Leadership Program trains leaders in emotional intelligence and interpersonal dynamics skills, enabling them to lead with greater Empathy, Purpose, Inspiration, and Connection (EPIC). EPIC leaders build innovative and high-performing teams based on high trust, big vision, and  psychological safety. This contributes to employees feeling included, having fun at work, and sustaining high performance. The EPIC program officially launched in Dec 2021, and it has spread to every geography where Amazon operates.


We are excited to offer EPIC sessions to customers! We launched our first external EPIC session at re:Invent 2022 with INO203: The Innovator's Mindset: How Emotional Intelligence Can Supercharge InnovationInnovation requires more than just IQ and technical skills. It’s a cognitive process, but it’s also an emotional one. Research has found that innovation has more to do with determination, grit, and psychological safety than it does with pure intellect. These are squarely in the realm of emotional intelligence. This session is intended to help you learn how to tap into this often-underrated side of your brain and supercharge your focus, creativity, and innovation.


Customers and partners can also learn to leverage these vital skills that boost innovation, resilience, and success. Talk with your AWS account manager to request a session.

Rich Hua, Worldwide Head and Founder of EPIC

Rich Hua serves as Worldwide Head of EPIC Leadership at Amazon Web Services. He has spent decades training and mentoring leaders in emotional and social intelligence—from CEOs to new managers to young professionals. Before coming to AWS, he launched emotional intelligence programs at Amazon, Oracle, and multiple organizations around the world.


Rich founded the EQ@Amazon community to enable Amazonians to practice, improve, and spread EQ skills. It now numbers over 50,000 people and is the largest employee-based community at Amazon. Over the past 3 years, Rich and his EQ team have trained over 250,000 Amazonians and 20,000 customers and partners in these skills. His emotional intelligence content is now an integral part of leadership, sales, and onboarding training for Amazon employees globally.


Rich collaborates with some of the world's foremost experts in emotional intelligence to bring these skills to leaders and organizations. These include Daniel Goleman, Marc Brackett, Matt Lippincott, Vanessa Druskat, Jamil Zaki, and Bill Duane. He serves as an advisor to the Goleman Consulting Group.


​Rich is also a certified Innovation Evangelist for Amazon. He founded the San Francisco chapter of Amazon's Culture of Innovation program and his team has delivered briefings on innovation to thousands of executives from around the world.


Follow Rich on LinkedIn.

The EPIC Team

Kelle Hand

Global EPIC Trainer


Kelle Hand is the Senior Trainer for the EPIC Program and leads efforts to bring EPIC worskhops to Amazon in all parts of the world. She launched EPIC workshops in North America, Europe, and APAC, and manages the Train-the-Trainer program to certify a global cadre of EPIC facilitators. Kelle was one of the original EQ Evangelists certified at Amazon and has delivered EQ trainings to tens of thousands of people.


Kelle has extensive global experience in sales leadership, sales enablement, business development, and channel marketing at multiple Fortune 500 companies.

Charis Loveland

Global Program Manager


Charis Loveland is the Senior Program Manager for EPIC. She owns global strategy for the program, which includes data analytics and productizing the EPIC offerings, both internally and externally. Charis was one of the original EQ Evangelists certified at Amazon, and she created the certification process for future EQ Evangelists. She has delivered EQ sessions to tens of thousands of Amazonians and customers. 


Charis previously led the artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) team for AWS Cloud Intelligence. She brings 2 decades of experience in product management, AI, data analytics, new product introduction, file and hardware storage, and software development.

Elias Diaz Alvarez

Learning Experience Designer


Elias Diaz owns the EPIC content strategy and curriculum development. He creates bar-raising training solutions that are delivered through various modalities, including e-learnings, instructor-led trainings, and peer-to-peer learning circles. He partners with global stakeholders and SMEs to source materials and re-imagine interactive and engaging learning experiences.  His EQ content forms the basis for some of the highest-rated trainings at Amazon and is impacting leaders all over the world.


Elias is one of the original EQ Champions at Amazon. He is also a clinical psychologist with expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).


Customer Testimonials

"The EPIC workshop at HubSpot was very impactful for our RevOps leadership team. I've received nothing but positive feedback from the team around how engaging and valuable it was. I'm confident that it's given the team new ways of thinking about EQ and developing deeper insights to fuel their own personal and professional growth. I'm thankful and appreciative to AWS for offering these capabilities for its customers."

- Sid Kumar, SVP RevOps, HubSpot


"What a privilege it was to have AWS guide our NAB Digital, Data and Analytics (DD&A) colleagues through the EPIC Leadership workshop. EQ is incredibly important for understanding and solving the challenges that may impact a customer’s experience when engaging with NAB’s digital products, so this is incredibly important for the future of our business. Rich’s very human, and highly engaging style aligned perfectly with our ‘Digital by Design, Human where it Matters’ strategy. Thank you for helping our colleagues to develop their ‘tool kit’ of resources – they left the session with a deeper understanding that success for our customers will be found through a mindset of innovation, resilience, and genuine empathy for each other."

- Angela Mentis, Group Executive, Chief Digital Data and Analytics Officer, National Australia Bank


Through this amazing workshop, we discovered that empathy isn't just a skill—it's the heartbeat of authentic leadership. The workshop was a powerful invitation for a mindset shift. I feel the team will embrace and use this skill as a foundation of our next gen leadership behaviors.

- Head of Technology Services, LATAM, Global Healthcare Company


“I want to express my sincerest gratitude for sharing the EQ insights with our leadership team. The EQ session conducted was among the highest rated and most memorable sessions of our entire leadership retreat. Our leaders found the presentation to be compelling and uniquely personal. Being a company that is highly engineering focused, the value of the message highlighted the criticality of self-awareness, vulnerability, and resilience that made our leaders better for our customers and one another.”

- CIO and VP of IT & Supply Chain, U.S. Utility Company


“For a company that is undergoing major transformation, you can imagine stress level has been high. Your talk about how EQ can be developed as a skill to navigate us through such an environment is invaluable and speaks to all levels. The best part is your coaching is very practical and easy to understand!”

- Chief Procurement Officer, Global Semiconductor Manufacturer


“All around, feedback has been positive and a lot of people enjoyed your presentation. They really feel that they can benefit from the sharing and apply the practical tips in their day to day work as leaders. Thank you for being part of our innovation and psychological safety journey. It was truly an enjoyable and eye-opening experience for all of us.”

 - EVP, Downstream Digital, Large Asian Energy Company

News & Updates

The Human Side of Innovation | Innovation Ambassadors

In a rapidly evolving technology landscape, discover how emotional intelligence (EQ) can unlock the path to innovation success.

Join Innovation Ambassador host, Sara Armstrong, in this special episode as she interviews David Lynch, Group Chief Technology Officer at bolttech, and Rich Hua, Worldwide Head of EPIC Leadership at AWS. Together, they explore the critical role of empathy, purpose, inspiration, and connection in driving innovation.

Hear about the remarkable journey of bolttech, a global insurtech shaping the future of insurance, and learn how transformative forces have propelled their success. Gain valuable insights into how leaders can cultivate a culture of psychological safety, leverage failure for learning and growth, and effectively balance short-term gains with long-term objectives.

Tune in for an enlightening discussion that could reshape your perspective on what it takes to thrive and succeed in the ongoing pursuit of tech-driven innovation. Watch it on YouTube or listen to the podcast

AWS re:Invent 2023 - The Innovator's Mindset: Building Adaptable and Resilient Organizations (INO103)


Culture can become your most powerful differentiator. Over the last 20+ years, Amazon’s peculiar culture has been linked to not just how we use technology or structure teams, but also the consistent application of core mechanisms resulting in sustained innovation and resilience. But innovation is not only a cognitive process—it’s also an emotional one. This session provides a unique perspective on building a resilient innovation culture and discusses how to balance technical and emotional skills to empower talent and create long-term agility. Learn how to tap into this often underrated side of your brain to supercharge your own focus, creativity, and innovation.



AWS Executive Insights

Emotional Intelligence: The Secret Ingredient to Innovation

Innovation, by definition, requires change, and that often stirs up a host of unexpected emotions. In this ebook, AWS Worldwide Head of EPIC Leadership and Founder of EQ at Amazon, Rich Hua, outlines the vital role emotions play in your workforce's ability to innovate, and how developing your own emotional intelligence at work can foster an increasingly innovative culture in your organization.


Go to the AWS Executive Insights for more information.


Download the ebook to learn how to strengthen your own EQ (emotional intelligence) and that of your workforce.

Featured App

How We Feel

How We Feel is a free journal for your well-being created by scientists, designers, engineers, and psychologists. Over time, you will learn precise words to describe how you feel, spot trends and patterns, and practice simple strategies to regulate your emotions in healthy ways. 


The How We Feel product team is led by Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest. The team includes current and former Pinterest employees who are passionate about creating a more emotionally healthy world. Our scientific team is led by Dr. Marc Brackett and his team at the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence. The Center offers training to schools to help educators, students, and their families better understand and manage emotions. To learn more, visit rulerapproach.org or read Dr. Brackett‘s book, Permission to Feel.


Featured Videos

AWS re:Invent 2022 - The Innovator's Mindset: Emotional Intelligence Can Supercharge Innovation (INO 203)


Innovation requires more than just IQ and technical skills. It’s a cognitive process, but it’s also an emotional one. Research has found that innovation has more to do with determination, grit, and psychological safety than it does with pure intellect. These are squarely in the realm of emotional intelligence. This session is intended to help you learn how to tap into this often-underrated side of your brain and supercharge your focus, creativity, and innovation.

AWS re:Invent 2022 - How to increase resilience and prevent burnout (INO103)

The past few years have been stressful and unpredictable. Office cultures are in flux, people are working more than ever, and many employees are threatened by burnout or already burned out. The good news is that you can do something about it. In this session, learn about the roots of burnout and science-backed techniques to effectively manage stress and prevent burnout.


Interview on Partnering Leadership Podcast

Studies and surveys show the significantly higher performance of individuals and teams with higher EQ (emotional intelligence).

And you know the great news, WE CAN improve our emotional intelligence!


In the conversation, we talk about the four core skills of emotional intelligence as well as the EPIC Leadership program. Through my own life story and example, I show that emotional intelligence can be developed.


Want to improve your chances of success? How about focusing more effort on improving your and your team's EQ?


Listen to Podcast

Watch on YouTube

Interview on the Empathy Edge Podcast

So…your leaders and colleagues could all improve their emotional intelligence, or EQ, to better collaborate - and you want to change your company culture for the better - but where the heck do you start? Podcast host, Maria Ross, talks with Richard Hua, Global Head of EPIC Leadership at Amazon. Rich's personal journey from self-professed non-emotionally intelligent person to where he is today will inspire even those of you who (falsely) believe you'll never be good at this stuff!

He shares how he intentionally built those muscles through self-reflection, coaching, and learning. We discuss the state of EQ and empathy in the corporate world and what talent is now demanding from leaders.

He shares how we created his current role and started this movement at Amazon - still a work in process but already having a profound impact - and he will inspire you as he did me, with tips to do the same in your organization. Where is EQ headed in our workplace world? Let's find out!

Interview on the Silicon Valley Podcast

In this edition Silicon Valley Podcast, host Shawn Flynn interviews Richard Hua, Global Head of EPIC Leadership and Innovation Evangelist at Amazon Web Services (AWS), to discuss:
👉 What is the Amazon “6 pager” and how it is used to propose a new idea?
👉 What are the 4-pillars of innovation?
👉 What is “Day 1” of the internet?
👉 How should someone train their mind to make it through tough times?
And much more...


💎Tune in on Apple Podcasts
Watch on YouTube

AWS re:Invent 2021 - Emotional intelligence to supercharge your success

Professional success requires more than just IQ and “hard” skills. Research has shown that emotional intelligence actually accounts for the majority of your long-term success, even in technical roles. It’s the ability to remain calm under pressure and resilient in the face of adversity. It’s leading with empathy and inclusivity. It’s bringing out the best in others. In this session, learn how to increase your emotional intelligence so you can empower greater success for yourself and the people around you.


Emotions at Scale: Interview with Marc Brackett

Join us for this conversation with Rich Hua, global strategist and evangelist for Amazon Web Services who's also spearheaded a company-wide effort to invest in emotional intelligence. With over 1.3m employees and a business that spans e-commerce, cloud computing, groceries and entertainment, Amazon is operating at a scale that's hard to comprehend. And, so many emotions!


Rich talks with Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (and Oji Life Lab co-founder) and our Head of Learning, Andrea Hoban. Rich will talk about how he kick-started EI efforts at Amazon and will share his tips on how you can engage your organization in emotional intelligence training...even if you don't have a million employees.


Extreme Career Pivots and Emotional Intelligence

Ethan Evans, Amazon veteran and VP of Twitch Prime, interviews Rich Hua about his extreme career pivot and how EQ played a key role in his professional success. After getting a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Cal Berkeley, Rich served as an evangelist and counselor for churches in mulitple parts of the world for 23 years, and then he moved back into the tech world as a solutions engineering manager. He now serves as a Principal Worldwide Strategist and Innovation Evangelist for AWS.


Emotional Resilience: How to Thrive in Uniquely Stressful Times

With COVID-19, recession, social isolation, and less-than-ideal work environments, we are facing an unprecedented amount of stress in our lives. Would you like to manage your stress more effectively? Do you want to be grittier in the face of adversity? Would you like to boost your confidence in uncertain situations? Do you want be healthier—mentally, emotionally and physically? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then be sure to attend this session on how to develop emotional resilience in stressful times. With emotional resilience, you can do more than just survive…you can thrive!


Interviews with Daniel Goleman


Daniel Goleman and Matt Lippincott interview Richard Hua, Global Strategist & Innovation Evangelist for AWS. Rich has been instrumental in delivering Emotional Intelligence (EI) training to more than 100,000 employees across many parts of Amazon. Check out out this 3-part series of mini-interviews.

The Need for EI Training at Amazon

The Need for EI Is Undeniable

How Amazon Puts EI into Action

LinkedIn Podcast with Lisa Earle McLeod


Bestselling author Lisa Earle McLeod and Amazon's Rich Hua discusses how to find and sustain emotional resilience. You'll learn how to be mentally buoyant and the technique for stress management used by Navy SEALs.




News & Updates

Building Empathy & Inclusion

Daniel Goleman says that the highest form of EQ is compassion, defined as "I understand you (your feelings and perspectives)" and "I want to help you." During these turbulent, painful and challenging times, we need compassion more than ever...from all sides. Regardless of our color, background, socio-economic status, or whatever "differences" we may have, we must realize that we have many, many more similarities. The EQ community stands in support of the black community and all marginalized people, and we believe that increasing emotional intelligence skills will help people be more inclusive and equitable in their thoughts and actions. For some hope and inspiration, take a look at this Heineken ad that brings people together who are "worlds apart".


Additional Trainings

The Science of Well-being - Yale’s most popular class ever (Now Free)

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.


LinkedIn Course: Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can help you build effective relationships at work. Executive coach and organizational psychologist Gemma Roberts explains what emotional intelligence is and why it's important. She helps you become more self-aware so that you can identify triggers that may hijack your performance. She also helps you align your intentions and your impact so that you can build strong and collaborative relationships.

Learning Objectives: What is emotional intelligence; watching for triggers and hijacks; shifting perspective; empathizing, listening and communicating.


UCLA Health: Mindful Awareness Research Center

The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is a partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. The mission of the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is to disseminate mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research.

Stream or download free Studio-Recorded Guided Meditations or their Weekly Live Podcasts.

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