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How to Infuse Heart into Soul-Sucking Organizations

Heartless leaders build soul-sucking organizations.

Leaders learn how to think with their heads in school. But leaders who think with their hearts build vibrant organizations.


Leadership would be simple if results are all that matter and people were machines. It doesn’t take long to learn that results drive business but it’s people that deliver results.

Heart knows everyone isn’t you.

Thinking with your heart means adapting to others. You have Dreamers, Doers, and Feelers on your team. Show heart by adapting to their orientation.

  1. Talk plans,systems, and processes with Doers.
  2. Talk vision and new ideas with Dreamers.
  3. Talk relationships and feelings with Feelers.

(Everyone has all three orientations to varying degrees. Minor adjustments to another’s way of seeing shows heart and enhances effectiveness.)

Treating people the way YOU want to be treated frustrates them unless they’re like you.

Bring heart to work with proactive imagination.

I’ve started a practice that radically impacts my interactions. Before meetings I close my eyes and ask myself how I want people to feel. I actually see them in my mind.

Second, I play the interaction like a movie in my head. I imagine people entering the room. How I greet them is guided by how I want them to feel about themselves. I evaluate questions and comments through the lens of emotions they engender.

Sincerity, honesty, and transparency lift technique above manipulation.

Imagine how you want people to feel about:

  1. Themselves.
  2. You.
  3. Team members.
  4. Projects.
  5. Your organization.
  6. Customers.
  7. The future.

What will you do or say that fuels energy, rather than drains it?

Good will opens hearts.

Leaders with heart have unwavering commitment to the welfare of others. The order of good will is:

  1. Organizational success.
  2. Individual’s success.
  3. Leadership success.

You’re third on the list.

It takes heart-thinking to build vibrant organizations.

What does heart-based leadership look like?

How might leaders show up with heart?


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