Sucess and Profit by leading from your Heart

‘The best leaders are not the "follow me over the hill" type, rather, they're the people who lead from the heart as well as the head, and whose leadership style springs from their fundamental character and values. It is the leaders that empower others and create leaders that are the most successful and profitable’. Professor Bill George

I felt touched and excited when I read this statement from Harvard Professor Bill George*because it immediately reminded me of the ancient wisdom reflected in Traditional Chinese Medicine. For traditional Chinese doctors the heart is much more then just an organ, it is considered to be the home of our consciousness, the essence of our being.

So lets see, what are the characteristics and values people leading from the heart may have?

I believe they are connected to their intuition, their inner wisdom which are in essence expressions of the heart. They understand that everything is connected, that what they do for others they ultimately do for themselves and that what they fail to do for others they also fail to do for themselves. They look at leadership as giving a service, a contribution - as serving the common good.

In terms of leadership style it means having clarity of purpose, being visible and accessible; sharing information, focusing on support, coaching, listening and encouraging, being honest, fair and open and having the courage to say ‘I don’t know”, but I am willing to learn.

Every day requires leadership from all of us on some level; as managers, parents, colleagues or friends, in our communities, families or organizations. And leading ourselves is not only the most challenging part, but also the most rewarding. BEING the change we want to see and ‘walk our talk’. Whatever we may not like in the world we live in, whatever we may not agree with in our organizations – we can make a Difference by acting from our heart and leading by example.

Leading and living from our heart is what I call being essentially human; it has all the ingredients that make us feel good, connected and involved. Life and Leadership is about relating, working together and ultimately it is an expression of caring and love. A ‘from the heart’ leader cares for the people he leads.

Professor Bill George further observed:

‘Leadership style can be broken down into takers and givers. Takers are often charismatic personalities who end up making decisions to enrich their own coffers and careers. Givers, on the other hand, create value and empower employees to become leaders.’

So which style do you favor or even more importantly which style do you choose to cultivate?

The great news is the fact that leadership can be "learned", can be "applied" and can be "used" to create the life we long for and achieve the goals of the organizations and teams we work in.

And awareness and knowing yourself are key elements. The ancient Greek philosophers called it ‘know thyself’. If you yourself are secure in your values, others will follow. I call it leading from the inside out.

How to start? Take a look inside – How do you feel? What do you see? Then take some time and ask yourself:

∑ What are my key values?

(honesty, kindness, integrity ….)

∑ What is my vision for life and work?

What kind of world do I want to live in and co-create?

What kind of life, work environment and relationships do I want to have/create?

How do I want to FEEL?

∑ Where would I like to see or make a difference?

Start by making a difference today. Take the lead!

‘Heart leadership can be taught through a series of steps that lead to more awareness and self-knowledge.

Contact me to find out more about the ‘leading from your heart’ coaching program

Exploring what is in your heart is a journey worth taking. And it is a journey made easier when traveling with someone else, someone who will ask you the questions you won’t ask yourself.

How do I know? That’s simple – I have been on that journey for some time now and starting it has been the best decision I have ever made.

Let me end as I began, with a quote, this time from Lao-tzu:

‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’

Take that step and make 2008 a year with a difference,


* Bill George is a Professor of Management Practice, Henry B. Arthur Fellow of Ethics, at Harvard Business School. He is the author of ‘The authentic leader’ and co-author of the book ‘True North’ in which he interviewed 120 leaders from all walks of live and business.

Christiane Pohl

Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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