Leadership is more than vision, profitability, operations, human resources, marketing, business development and growth. Without creating heart-centered value, leaders are operating in the old 20th century model.
Today, leadership is about making things better, not worse. Raising, not lowering. Producing optimism and unification, not fear and discontent. Heart-centered leaders promote cooperation and creativity over competition. Heart-centered leaders hold employee well being, customer satisfaction, fiscal responsibility and community service well above their individual legacy or company perks.
Heart-centered leaders create value by producing bold dreams for a better future, and, ultimately, creating organizations to achieve them. True leaders inspire us to believe in ourselves, the impossible, the invisible, and together as a team, community, family, or country, we can truly make a difference.
Heart-centered leaders know intuitively it’s never really about them, but the dreams, goals and possibilities they create. Heart-centered leaders champion the journey, not the destination.
Like Babe Ruth calling his home run shot by pointing to the center field bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field during the 1932 World Series, heart-centered leaders graciously earn authority and boldness when it’s their turn at the plate, although still proudly sharing their achievements as part of a winning team.
A client once told me, “My leadership is transitory. The lasting results of our accomplishments are not.”
Are you a heart-centered leader?
Are your relationships better today than yesterday? Does someone need to hear an apology, a word of kindness, or physically see you smile? You are someone’s hero, do you act that way? When was the last time you hugged a friend, told a dear one you loved them, or surprised someone with your presence? When was the last you listened to someone because you genuinely cared? What heart-centered value are you contributing to your relationships?
Are you happy with your finances? Few people are. The better question is what heart-centered value are you bringing to your finances? Complaining won’t help, nor will fearing for the future. Plotting to take more from a competitor is less effective than creating something new. It’s counter-intuitive, but when you stop blaming yourself or the outside world for your financial issues and start releasing your fear about tomorrow, the space opens for intuition, clarity, relaxation, and inspiration. The universe isn’t going to give $5 million dollars. It may, however, bring you a $5 million dollar idea. What heart-centered value are you bringing to your finances?
How’s your health? Your body is the most sophisticated, fine-tuned instrument on the planet. Trillions of living, intelligent cells are working in this moment to keep you alive and vital. Within your body, with no conscious help from you, thousands of functions and systems operate harmoniously with the sole purpose that you have a good day. When was the last time you saw a shrink, got a massage, went for a walk, ate something raw? Your leadership is worthless if you’re sick or dead. What heart-centered value are you bringing to your body?
How is the world treating you? Better question: how are you treating the world? Do you litter? Recycle? Do you gossip? What are your intentions? Do you in any given moment consciously choose to make the world a better place or not? What is your tone? How do you talk to yourself? How do you treat strangers? (Tip: no one is a stranger.) What do you do in secret that nature applauds? Your world is a mirror, what do you see? What heart-centered value are you bringing to the world?
Calling yourself a leader is one thing. Acting as a 21st century, heart-centered leader, is something else. Choose wisely.
Have you heard of “Servant Leadership?” I admire the heart-centered work of the Greenleaf Center.
Who do you consider a heart-centered leader? Are you?