Endless books and articles have strategies on how to build your business and increase profits through effective leadership. However, current research is proving that more effective, long-term success happens when you lead with your heart.
A People-First Approach
The site Leadership Freak describes heart-centered leadership as difficult but also potentially life-changing for both the leaders and those they manage because it puts people ahead of business outcomes. While a competent leader will expect results, an extraordinary leader asks for those results using a heart-centered approach.
It’s about finding the right balance. “All heart without results is weak. All results without heart is ugly,” says the site.
In a recent Inc.com article, Susan Steinbrecher, CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates, cites a 2012 Towers-Watson study of 50 global companies and their leadership strategies. The companies that focused on a people-first leadership approach and other people-centric business strategies had a one-year operating margin that was three times higher than companies who ignored this strategy.
According to Steinbrecher, “There is strong evidence that these results may be due to the positive impact that a more heart-centered leadership approach has on employee performance.”
Heart-Centered Leadership Traits
Below is a partial list of the qualities found in a heart-centered leader, taken from the Leadership Freak and Inc.com sites. If you see yourself in this list, congratulations! If you don’t, consider trying to work them into your management style. You might be amazed at what happens for you and your team.
Heart-centered leadership means:
- You care more about values than results.
- You speak the truth to others, and expect them to so the same with you.
- Your goal is to serve the people you lead rather than them serving you.
- You are compassionate, grateful, and a good listener.
- You’re not afraid to admit your mistakes and ask forgiveness from others.
- You’re committed to personal and professional growth for both you and your team members.
- You work hard to build self-esteem in others and help them shine.
- You assume the good in others, even if their actions indicate otherwise.
- You consistently touch base with your team for both business and personal conversations.
- You are dedicated to making a difference in your life, the lives of your team, and society as a whole.
To be an effective leader with a thriving business, plan with your head but lead with your heart.
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Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As the Managing Partner of Authentic Leadership International (ALI) & a Women’s Leadership Coach, my highest intention in the business realm is to help women in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.
Recently, my perspectives were featured in an article on the International Coach Federation’s website here.