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Management from the Heart

20 November 2015

When judging yourself and others as an effective leader – what competencies do you believe to be the most important? Experience? Education and training, or your ability to just get things done?

While these hard skills are valuable they do focus primarily on the head space. The head is just part of the equation and in our technology based world we tend to lead too much with intelligence and logic. Research is now proving that the ‘Heart Based Leader’ - one who embraces the notion of listening to their heart and gut and acting with truthfulness and integrity, reach a level of success far higher than their traditional head based counterparts.

Being a leader isn’t just about the position you hold. There are many people in leadership positions out there who don’t lead – and in turn, you don’t follow. They don’t contribute to the common good nor do they connect with the needs of the world and the people around them. These false leaders are not motivated by making a positive difference to the world.

Ok, I acknowledge that some may say this heart stuff is too fluffy but if you are only leading with your head, then you are missing out. Just imagine how much more effective your leadership would be if you let your heart take the lead a little more often, tapping into your ‘intuition’?

When decisions are based purely from a head space they may not be based on a real need, they are purely based on what your head has made up about a situation.

Have you ever felt like your hearts not in it? Maybe that’s because your heart knows it is not that important. Your heart only has a little voice, but it pays dividends for you to learn to tune in and listen to it. When you do this, your leadership will become more about the important things and less about what your head tells you that you should be doing.

Heart based leadership is about compassion, courage, persistence and character. It is about wanting to make a difference. 

Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela are both great examples of heart based leaders. They come from the heart and they come from inner purpose. They may use their head to develop solutions but it is their heart that has led the way, that has found the purpose. In addition, they also follow their gut and have the courage to make things happen. In turn, people connect with and follow these leaders.

Heart Leadership encompasses what energizes people, what carries them through adversity, what drives them to success…for the greater good.

Leading from the heart means building on learning, experience and knowledge with compassion, intuition, and reflection. Leading from the heart takes work. For the leader, it means empowering and trusting a team. For those who are led, it means the freedom to do the job creatively, to explore new solutions, to make mistakes and learn from them.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. — Nelson Mandela


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