Finding Extraordinary Success
After the open house ceremony, I looked Doug (far left) in the eye and said, “I was thinking about you as I drove in. The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”
“You’re a man with heart. I’m glad to know you.”
- Tender hearted compassion. When I want to help someone in the community, Doug says, “How much do you need, Dan?”
- Truthful transparency. It takes confidence, self-awareness, and honesty to share true feelings.
- Profound commitment to service. Every person who fills out a customer complaint, and there aren’t many, gets a call from Doug.
- Dedication to people. He enjoys pointing out how long “his people” have been with him.
- High standards.
- Curiosity. It’s not unusual for Doug to say, “Dan, tell me about your blog.”
- Weaknesses. Doug doesn’t pretend he has it all together.
I’ve seen childlike enthusiasm twinkle in his eyes and heard flashes of frustration in his voice. It’s all heart.
People with heart: (From the LF facebook page).
- Admit their mistakes.
- Understand feelings.
- Laugh at themselves.
- Protect relationships.
More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.
Losing you is dangerously easy. Leaders who’ve lost themsleves:
- Are controlled by others. If you don’t know who you are someone else controls you.
- Feel pushed around by pressure.
- Pursue success rather than significance.
- Follow trends rather than principles.
- End up crushed by criticism or crushing their critics.
Finding a heartbeat:
- Take a walk and think your own thoughts; forget what others think.
- Explore your joys. What makes you deeply happy?
- Examine your anger. Values often drive anger.
- Love deeply.
- Serve wholeheartedly.
Richness of life and leadership depend on finding and living with heart.
How can leaders find heart?
How have you found heart?
To find heart, bring out the heart of others.
I facilitate The Leadership Challenge workshop by Kouzes and Posner. One of their five practices of exemplary leadership is encourage the heart.
Show people you care about them. Let them know when they’re doing well. If your constituent hits a speed bump and makes a mistake, have a one on one convo to explore what they learned. Always move forward.
Many leaders feel they’ll be viewed as “Mr. Softy” if they care. If they only knew, their team members are starving for this attention. Encourage the heart and your team will run through a brick wall for you.
Thanks for the “finding heart tip” … love it.
“The Leadership Challenge” is the first book I recommend to any leader who hasn’t already read it….
I’m thankful to find you here again this morning.
Dan, I watched this wonderful Bio programme on Sky Tv about Joni Mitchell and in it she said if it hadn’t of been for bad fortune she never would have picked up a guitar !! I think the most heart felt people in life believe that no matter what happens in life happens for a bigger reason and is not just about the self …..
From watching her bio, I wrote this little poem and it sums up my outlook on a heartfelt life 🙂
How can you reach hearts ‘n’ minds unless you rattle your own
How can meaningful messages find a meaningful home
Each of us are human, sometimes we fail
Fallin’ of the tracks, even for a while derailed
No-one is perfect, staying in control
That’s the trouble with having a free soul
Walk, run, hide, carry scars that flow deep
Then when vulnerable wear your heart on your sleeve
Like a rock in a river embedded in the muck
Living pounds like water making you unstuck
It forces a movement, rolling the mass along
Rough edges smoothed out by something you can’t put your finger on
Beliefs carried by demons and angels too
The law of averages supporting you through
Every bit of trouble forces destiny’s hand
So your thankful bad fortune is a tolerable companion
Call it divine intervention, nature’s channeling force
For somehow or other it navigates the right course
Though it pains you, tears you and sometimes you bleed
Life is creating a new freedom wherein you still eventually succeed …….
I’m always thankful when you stop in and share one of your poems. Talk about diversity… 🙂
Keep on having heart,
Happy summer solstice to all on this heartfelt day 🙂
We all run into situations where we don’t recognize feelings or express them well, where we don’t protect relationships, or admit mistakes, or affirm others’ success.
The good news is it is *never* too late to do so. This is related to the action-attitude promoted in yesterday’s post.
YOu give us hope!
heart is important, without it, it’s just a lot of noise!
One thing is certain, whether someone as a leader feels the heart and genuine concern for others is important in busines, the people they are leading DO feel that way…. Those are humans out there helping you in your mission… Great post Dan.
Thanks for being a people lifter. You encourage me.
The business world can drain the heart out of people…. some cultures devalue heart … thanks for adding your thoughts.
Truthful transparency and profound commitment are key to extraordinary success. I absolutely agree with you that success is not about possession but in sacrifice. Success is in giving not taking. For all these, bigger heart is must. True leaders believe in creating better people centric leaders. They know that real success in development of human beings and environment. One of the key leadership values that makes extraordinary success is sensitivity. Leaders are sensitive towards others. Insensitivity makes one manipulator and manipulators measure success on different parameter.
I believe leaders can find heart by looking big picture, redefining their definition of success and impact of their success. And perhaps the most important part is to “Redefine” the meaning of success.
Thanks for always being here.
The other day a person I coach said they didn’t feel they were getting where they wanted to go. I asked, “Where do you want to go?”
They thought for a minute and said, “I’m not sure.” We all can fall into the trap of working hard without having clear objectives.
Love it – Heart the very essence of Leadership
I loved this post, Dan. And I take this opportunity of extracting from one of my own posts…
As I think of ” losing the leadership heartbeart, I get reminded of that wonderful Arbinger Institute publication, “Leadership and Self Deception: Getting out of the box”. While the book focuses on leadership in the organisational context, its argument applies in our life situation too. The book states that people respond to “how we feel about them” and not because “how we treat them.” Let us halt here and absorb the import of what is being said. “Feeling inside” has far greater impact than “action outside.” The genuineness, or otherwise, of what our true feelings or thoughts are, seeps out irrespective how or what we show on the outside.
As leaders and as individuals, we “get into the box” as we allow our lives to be dominated by our insecurities and start projecting our failures on to others to try and protect ourselves from our own reality. This then becomes our strategy of self deception and “keeps us trapped inside the box”, away from the truth of our attitude towards others and its crippling impact on our relationships.
As an example, if you are in an abusive relationship, this could be due to your belief that you are unloved. If you believe you are unlovable, you will attract those ‘into the box” who can help you to demonstrate this belief because you have it, not because it is the truth. Abuse is one way that this belief can be played out.
But as rightly concluded by you,we can rediscover our “heartbeat” by choosing to become the observer of our beliefs and changing them once they are no longer working for us. And as we change ourselves inside, what we attract on the outside also changes. And this becomes our pathway to move “out of the box.”
Cheers and God Bless.
Thanks for sharing your insights..
I love the idea that we lose ourselves when we live in our insecurities… very powerful and challenging idea!
Great piece, Dan. I found my heart through failure and through service. Whether it was leading a company and serving our people and our clients, or working with the homeless, I found more of me. Failing taught me about the imperfect and that it was okay. Out of that came humility.
Listening to my own voice, ignoring the noise in my head, reaching out to others, journaling, prayer, time for renewal, photography, are disciplines of maintaining my heart.
Both finding and maintaining my heart allow me to share my heart. That’s the best that I have to give, particularly when others are sharing theirs. What music that is.
Today’s comments just keep getting better and better…
I tweeted “I found my heart through failure and through service”… dang that’s good.
I’m thankful you shred your insights today.
Leaders who are stressed need to find their “heart”
Any heart that I have and pass along to others came to me in 3 ways.
1. Experiencing tough times myself. Going through a challenging time humbles us and helps us recognize when others are struggling. We can then see more clearly and know how to help because we have been through the rapids ourselves.
2. Observing others who approach every situation with heart and thinking, “I want to be more like that.” Then letting that person become our role model as we allow our own behaviors to shadow theirs. Act ‘as if’ until we are.
3. Reflection. When a situation doesn’t go as I wish it had, I try and reflect and think about what I would do differently next time. Why didn’t I step up to the plate when I wanted to? Why did I hang back when I really could have made a difference?
I’m a work in progress always looking for ways to demonstrate more heart.
What a great and useful contribution to the conversation. Thank you.
It seems we can’t get away from the value of hard times… as long as we learn and grow from them.
You map out three great steps to finding heart and then remind me that it’s still a journey, not a destination.
It seems as we ‘grow up’ we may lose ‘heart’ because we are often told to grow up and what grow up is, is certainly left to speculation. Some get wrapped up rather than grow up in all of the trappings, be it title, illusionary power, et al and again ultimately lose heart.
The wonderful paradox is that by giving true heart, by letting go, you get more back than you can perceive or even imagine.
That of course reminds me of some lyrics by Chris Squire of YES in the song,The More We Live-Let Go…
“You and I can change the world;
The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know.
From this moment on we share the world;
The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.
The spirit of imagination can lead us through the dark;
The more we see, the more we try, the more we show.
The evidence of our confusion, life has left its mark;
The more we fear, the more we lie, the more we hide….”
You’re rock’in it today!
For me, the most power packed sentence is: “Some get wrapped up rather than grow up…” Bingo! It’s a real challenge not to get wrapped up.
You have my respect and appreciation,
Sometimes your blog posts just resound in me. Thank you for the encouragement.
“Examine your anger. Values often drive anger.”
I don’t think I have ever considered that, but it makes sense. Thank you Dan for this insightful nugget.
Hi Jeorge…delighted to be useful.. cheers! Dan
Following you on twitter . The success article I just read is very inspiring . Would like to read more of your material !
I love this post Dan! I think leaders find heart in many different ways, maybe mostly through an experience that touches their heart and opens their eyes.
I will be sharing this, too good not to 🙂
Great blog and right in line with our thinking and teaching. When talking about “losing you”, we believe that awareness of self is an essential skill for all leaders. Check out our inspirational initiative NextraOrdinary,com about finding the extraordinary and then your next extraordinary, Thanks Dan!
What a heartwarming post filled with excellent pointers on finding extraordinary success! I agree that the richness of life and leadership depend on finding, sharing, and living with heart. Thanks for sharing, my twitter friend.