By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership
Anyone who has gone to business school or has been trained in leadership knows that leadership in business is often about the intellectual attributes of a great leader such as strategy, finance, operations, KPI's, and ROI. In a world where the shareholders are mostly institutional investors, it is too easy for business leaders to forget the matters of the heart as their goal is mostly to maximize profits and return on capital for shareholders.
What leaders often forget is that people will do a lot more if you inspire them and touch them in their heart with your mission and vision. If you care for them and the clients.
I have a friend who use to be a manager of marketing for Coke many years ago. Her role was to help maximize the company's market share in her region and she noticed that the company was willing to do anything to gain market share including spending a lot of money on advertisement to to convince customers that happy people drank Coke. Once day, she realized that the more she was successful in her job, the more the clients would gain weight as Coke contains so much sugar, so she quit the company to pursue another career.
In these days where the world changes so fast and there are so much pressure on everyone as we live in a VUCA world and where there is so much competition for talent, heart-centered leadership is more important than ever. as leaders need to be mindful, conscious, authentic and caring.
Heart-centered leadership is about having the consciousness, wisdom, courage and compassion to leader others with authenticity, vulnerability, transparency, humility and service. It is also about leading with love, inspiration and encouragement and not fear and control.
The world of business is full of leaders who lead with fears as many leaders allow their unhealed fears and limiting beliefs to permeate their leadership which results in them creating a corporate culture of fear.
Many leaders believe that employees will take advantage of the company if they are not afraid. This is archaic thinking that truly limits the potential of the company. I know a president of a medium size manufacturing company that took away the punch clock for his factory workers and the workers starting doing more hours as they felt trusted.
You can recognize a heart-centered leader though some key characteristics:
1. They focus on serving others
Heart-centered leaders have done some inner work to transform themselves and heal some of their fears and limiting beliefs so that they can focus on serving the needs of others instead of using others to serve their needs.
2. They lead with love
Heart-centered leaders lead with love and not fear. They create an engaging culture full of integrity where everyone feels trusted and can rise to its full potential to achieve breakthrough results and clients are served with love.
3. They develop others
Heart-centered leaders know that profits are the results of many other things done right and they truly value the contribution of all the members of their team. They craft an inspiring vision and they enrol all their team members in it so they can touch their heart and they focus on developing the full potential of everyone in their team.
The actions and behaviours of heart-centered leaders come from a place of emotional resonance and coherence. They believe in what they do as it resonates with them and they choose to lead from principles, values and virtues.
Are you ready to be a heart-centered leader?