What is Heart-based leadership?
Heart-based leadership is a term that describes someone who is self-aware, yet motivated by a vision that is bigger than them. A heart-based leader desires to bring out the best in others, invests in building lasting relationships, shows compassion and kindness in their dealings, and leaves a trail of positivity. This can be you.
It’s all about raising your Emotional Intelligence – also known as Emotional Quotient, or EQ. When you have a high EQ, you are aware of your own strengths as well as your weaknesses. You are attuned to the different personalities of those around you and what they need. As a high EQ leader, you’re a good communicator. You listen well, you trust those on your team and express appreciation to others.
The heart is a muscle, and you strengthen muscles by using them. The more you lead with your heart, the stronger your heart gets and the more effective your leadership will be.
What are they saying about you?
During my workshop called “Lead from Within”, I have had the opportunity to ask hundreds of leaders to describe the best boss they’ve ever had. I hear things like,
“He really cared about my success.”
“She took time to listen.”
“She always made me feel like my thoughts, ideas, and suggestion were valued.”
“He inspired me to think big – he was able to get our whole team working together toward a shared vision.”
Not once have I heard:
“She was great with knowing the stats on exactly how we were performing at all times.”
“He worked all the time – he modeled being completely sold out to achievement.”
Think about how your team would describe you. What would they say? Are you proud of that? Heart-based leaders listen.
Success is a journey and it’s a marathon – not a sprint. With the speed of our lives, the endless to-do lists, and the pressure to get mountains of work done, we can be like the African cheetah. He has to run down his prey in order to eat. The cheetah is
well suited for the task, as it can run at speeds of 70 miles per hour. The cheetah has only one problem, however, in that it has a disproportionately small heart, which causes it to tire quickly. If it doesn’t catch its prey quickly, it must end the chase. If you lack heart in leading, you are likely to falter before completing what you set out to accomplish.
The challenge for every leader is to use both their head and their heart. We use our heads to manage resources and use our hearts to lead people. They say the best exercise for the heart is lifting someone else up. Strengthen your heart – it’s an excellent investment.