How is personal leadership with heart different? If you find yourself in a position of leadership in today’s world you will require a host of new skills. Some of the greatest leaders in history had to overcome personal obstacles to get the job done.
Many of them were successful because they trusted their gut instinct. In other words, they led from the heart instead of their head. They accessed personal courage.
Simply put personal leadership with heart is just as much how about who you are as it is about what you do. The core essence or character of a leader always comes through when the chips are down.
When things are going well with your business or team it is easy for many leaders to take the credit. And conversely the tendency is to blame the team, staff or other outside forces during a crisis or challenge. This type of leadership is obsolete. It lacks character and is self serving.
Emerging leaders with a big heart take full responsibility for every disappointment and business outcome and give credit to the team for each and every success.
This is known as personal leadership because this is a reflection of who you are and what you stand for as an individual as much as or even more than actions you take as a leader.
In every instance the modern leader with heart will become more of a servant than an idol. This humility fosters a new kind of leadership that paves the way for everyone above you and below you to step into their personal leadership and reach their full potential.
“Leading from the heart means seeing the greatest potential in your team and really challenging them to develop to their fullest.”
This creates a beautiful reciprocal relationship between the leader and the team. They cannot complete the task with excellence without mutual trust, respect and comradery.
First Things First
What should a leader of Heart do first?
Every leader is expected to create an amazing outcome. This goes without saying. The difference is in the manner in which the project is managed.
The preparation; vision, mission, strategy, action plan and metrics are essential. Without planning excellence and understanding the precise order of things great outcomes are impossible.
Personal leadership with heart means everyone on the team knows the big picture and what their role is and what is expected. It is measurable. This is the time for crystal clarity.
Then it’s time to implement. There is no excuse for inaction. It is the personal leader’s job to confront inaction by team members because it is very costly.
“The price of inaction is far greater than making a mistake.” Meister Eckhart
Why should you leave your outrageous mark?
Every personal leader must put their own unique thumbprint on each and every project. Your own personality must come through. People no longer respect robots in expensive suits.
The team will be inspired more by your core essence and heartfelt stories than by your role or position or as the business owner. This is what makes leadership very personal.
It is not about being a pal or close friend to the team members. It is about the leader’s shared humanity and vulnerability. Share some personal life challenges to help team members work through their weak areas.
How Can You Tell If You Lead From Your Heart & Soul?
– Your greatest quality is influence – to inspire the best in each and every person
– Your authentic heartfelt vision is communicated clearly
– Your heart is bigger than the job task or business
– You take time to consider everyone concerned
– You are not half hearted or wishy – washy
– You forgive yourself and others for mistakes
– You care authentically about others – the bigger picture – and not just yourself
– You are passionate about the people and the project
– You would never give up
– Emotionally engaged motivated team that love their roles and are inspired to do their very best
– Attract and keep amazingly talented people
– Clients/customers that that go the distance with your products and services and passionately refer others
Why does a personal leader with heart need to be a coach and confronter of toxic behavior within themselves and their team?
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. To do great things, great leaders must confront negativity within the team. Sometimes you must take action to remove someone who does not accept your leadership.
Sometimes you must take action to remove toxic behavior within yourself. Are you open to feedback from the group? Do they know it is a safe environment to do that? That is to give each other and yourself their honest opinion without a backlash.
Those steeped in negativity tend to be victims and blame authority while colluding with others to invalidate team or business goals.
Reactivity in the background (team secrets) instead of open conflict resolution within the team is the downfall of many businesses or teams. The leader cannot tolerate this because it is incompatible with leading from the heart.
Everyone needs to be a team player. All for one and one for all. This is what great teams do in business and sports. They are on each others side and not just for themselves.
They honestly believe they cannot do it alone and be the superstar who gets all the credit. Do you possess the courage to lead in this fashion?
The pride of false superiority and judgmental cruelty that some team members display masks or hides a deeply rooted insecurity. It must be confronted or rooted out like tooth decay; they have to fish or cut bait.
On the other hand, some of the greatest innovators in history were eccentric, moody and did not follow the rules. It was their willingness to think outside the box/square – which means to think differently, a novel approach, unconventional and from a new perspective.
You must to be able to hold a space or container for disagreement between team members and yourself. You must allow for outrageous differences:
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo 1494-1495
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why even be here.” Steve Jobs
Michelangelo and Steve Jobs always thought outside the box. They were rebels with a cause you might say.
What holds leaders and team members back from stepping out of their comfort zone in order to innovate?
The heart of leadership is to give permission for innovation. There are no mistakes. Lessons only. If you give the team a green light to innovate great things will happen. They will also make mistakes.
“Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure.” Meister Eckhart
The antiquated style of leadership is micromanagement of tasks. This style attracts good boys and girls who do what they are told. They are reliable and polite and cooperative and never late for work.
If you lead in this very conservative manner you can very easily manage expectations. Some environments work best with old fashioned and predictable outcomes.
If you desire outrageous innovation you better trust your gut and start stepping out of your comfort zone – your intuition is yours and yours alone. Living in your head is what everybody else is doing. It’s old school now.
Your thinking and feeling outside the box gives the whole team permission to seek fresh ideas as welcomed and mistakes as stepping stones as opposed to a chance to be chewed out in front of the team or worse.
Remember if you try new things you will be criticized. If you remain attached to the status quo you will also be criticized. Nothing ventured – nothing gained.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt
How do leaders with heart overcome hardships?
Leaders with courage must look beyond the opinions of others. The bigger your vision the stronger your resolve must be. You must be willing to put yourself out there. You must be willing to fail, brush yourself off and march forward.
In order to achieve true grit, the most important quality you must develop is resilience. Research shows internal toughness is more important to achieving success than intelligence, experience or education.
To sustain determination over time leaders must possess strength of both mind and body. There must be a clear alignment between how you think and how you feel. The outcome will create unity between your heart & soul that inspires you to stay motivated.
To Do This Effectively Over Time You Must Develop Habits That Enhance A Mindset Of Resilience:
– Stillness: spend at least 20 minutes per day in silence. Observe your thoughts and the mind’s fluctuations without attachment
– Grounding: stretch your body everyday for at least 10 minutes to get energy running through your entire body
– Sprinting: do 3 thirty second sprints after stretching. 3 times per week will create a healthy body and profound presence. Research on sprinting indicates a strong heart & lungs with give you the energy you require to live a full life
– Habits: discipline yourself everyday to take action in 50 minute segments. Focus your attention to the greatest priorities first. Always go the extra yard. Mediocre people give up where leaders with heart are just beginning
– Letting Go: Intestinal fortitude means not dwelling on the past and being anxious about the future. People with grit do not waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They live in the present moment
– Embrace Change: they see change as exciting without fear of the future. They know they can always do it better and different without feeling slighted or threatened by the feedback
– Patient: They have staying power and mental toughness in business and life. They know great things take time and they cannot be forced
– Inspired: by other people’s success real leaders believe in their own talent. They are not jealous or resentful but instead genuinely happy about news of other’s great contributions. They seek to learn from them
– Expose their own blind spots: every great leader knows they must fail in order to grow and be their very best. Many of them failed repeatedly before they rose from the ashes of apparent defeat. They then overcame many obstacles which led to their ultimate success.
“The most important quality of the greatest leaders throughout history are those who influence their followers with a brave heart in the face of adversity.” Abraham Lincoln – why is he often considered one of the most courageous and influential leaders ever?
Lincoln was a master communicator who influenced those he led by inviting open dialogue. He was a brilliant passionate speaker, inclusive of opposing views without retaliation and was a very proactive and attentive listener.
Lincoln was in touch with concerns of his countrymen and simplified his message for all to grasp. He was willing to admit his mistakes and the errors of his administration openly and humbly.
With a clear vision for the future, unwavering faith in the face of adversity and master of his own emotions, he was truly a model leader for all time. He was probably most known for the integrity of his character and moral fiber of his being.
The Three Greatest Accomplishments Of Abraham Lincoln Probably Are:
– winning the civil war and thereby holding the United States together as one nation
– ending slavery in America
– modelling a new leadership which was very human, personal, heartfelt and enormously influential
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln
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Robert Kirby – Mind/Body Transformation & Integration Expert