by Jacqueline Brodnitzki, President, Conscious Success
The best leaders lead with their heart more than their brain. Of course the two are connected, and they use their heart to make a real difference in their organizations.
Bill George, one of my favorite well-known examples of a mindful leader and also Harvard Business School Professor and former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, thinks that while business was focused in the 80s and 90s on creating knowledge workers, what will set great companies aside in this century is their ability to tap into people’s hearts. In his book Authentic Leadership he claims tapping employees’ “passions and their desires to make a difference through their work” is what has enabled great companies like Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Dell, 3M, and J&J to sustain growth even during down markets.
Yet companies can’t expect to tap into their employees’ passions and desires without leaders in touch with their hearts. The research HeartMath has done shows the heart contains intelligence. Many of my clients comment on how powerful it is to visualize connecting their head and heart before making decisions.
Bob Rosen, in his book Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted In An Uncertain World, says “The best way for you to inspire passion and performance in others is first by aligning your own head and heart.”
Leadership is an interesting role to play; leaders are responsible for the work of their team and guiding their employees to make sure they have the resources to thrive and do their jobs well. Sometimes it feels like a leader’s hands are tied since they can’t dive in and do the work for their employees. In working with many leaders over the past few years, I’ve heard how they are able make a true difference for their teams by leading with heart.
After all, what kind of legacy do we want to create? What do we want to be remembered for when we’re gone? The great financial success of our company or the way we made a difference for those who work for us? How about both? Leading with heart makes this possible.