Question: What do Valentine’s Day and leadership have in common?
Answer: The heart. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of the heart and effective leadership is a matter of the heart.
Effective leadership is heart-centered. It is not, contrary to popular opinion, primarily about intelligence, competency, strategy or execution. Effective leadership that inspires and sustains extraordinary results is about vision, trust and transformation – each, ultimately, is a matter of the heart.
Vision comes from a passion for what could be – those passions are heart-inspired. Vision empowers us to believe that creating something new, something worthy, something extraordinary, could truly make a difference in the world. Vision motivates the courage and energy needed to confront the unknown and to do the impossible. Visionary leaders give us meaning and hope, they enable transformation, they ignite our passions… passion comes from the heart.
Trust very often is a matter of the heart. Trust emanates as much from what we feel as from what we think we know. People tend to trust when they feel loved, i.e. when they feel valued, feel appreciated and feel empowered… feelings are a matter of the heart.
Transformation doesn’t happen through new processes and procedures, nor does transformation occur when the chairs on the deck are reshuffled into a new organizational structure. Transformation happens when the caterpillar becomes the butterfly – transformation occurs when people start thinking and behaving differently. Thinking differently requires an adjustment in how we affirm and embrace values and beliefs…. transformation requires a change in heart.
Lance Secretan was quoted in Industry Week: “Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.”
Inspirational, heart-led leadership motivates us to create value rather than seek entitlement; it moves us to appreciate diverse perspectives and beliefs; it encourages us to take risks that enable innovation.
My question for leaders this Valentine’s Day: Is your leadership heart centered?