Monday, August 17, 2009

Heart Based Leadership

I remember when I was watching a movie called "The Order" a few years back and I heard a quote that I still to this day believe is one of my favorite one's of all time. In the movie the character starring with the late Heath Ledger's character tells Ledger to "Let your heart wear the crown, not your head". I remember thinking how profound and more important how true a statement like that is.

In our lives we have a tendency to lead too much with our intelligence and through our logic. We as humans like to organize and systematically go about solving issues in our lives. However, how much better off would we be if we let our hearts lead a little more often. As someone in a leadership position within my company, I value the heart to heart talks I have with my employees on various topics. The joy is in seeing them feel comfortable talking to me about almost anything and knowing that I am genuinely concerned for their social and emotional well-being.

The same can be said even more importantly in my own personal life. My wife knows that I value the honest and open format of talking and that as long as we lead with a heartfelt and sincere approach to conversation that we will always have productive and respectful conversations. And really if you think about it, we are all in some sort of leadership position in our lives whether it be personally or professionally. We are in charge of respecting, caring for and being sensitive to the hearts and minds of others.

As a former teacher in both the university system and the career college system I can say without a shadow of a doubt that being successful at leading students to learn and grow is highly correlated to how well you lead with your heart versus your head. Every teacher that I've ever known in my field has similar knowledge, but not every teacher has a similar heart and passion for making the content they teach come alive. The real connections come when the students see the teacher as a real person. In other words they see the teacher as someone they can relate to.

Overall, great respect and admiration is accomplished through taking the time to really care about others. And that is greatly enhanced by leading with a heart that is centered on the joy of service to things that are greater than your own self-interests. Remember..."Let Your Heart Wear the Crown, Not Your Head".

Until the next time....

Dr. D
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