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What does it mean to lead from the heart, to lead from a space of equanimity, kindness or calm assurance?  It means motivating people from love, not fear.

When we motivate people with fear, "Get this down now or else!", we make them feel small and useless, afraid of doing something ‘wrong’, afraid of giving it a go and making a mistake, afraid of doing anything that could make leadership or their immediate superior mad.

 

Fear causes people to doubt themselves, to feel anxious and alone.  Fear encourages your people to be suspicious of one another, not knowing who might be a back stabber or tattle tale.

 

When we motivate your people with love, they feel more belonging, that they fit in and have a purpose at work.  They feel more valued and respected.

 

People want to fit in, to belong, to feel like their contribution matters. When people feel like they belong, they participate and become a part of the community.  They reach out and work as a team . They have each other’s backs and have the backs of the ones directing them, because their leaders, bosses, superiors have their backs, and that’s their natural, genuine response. Kindness and consideration begets more kindness and consideration. 

 

This is about being a doormat. When we lead from the heart, we still need to have clear, strong appropriate boundaries. The people and teams that work for us still need to know what's expected of them, the standards of excellence that they need to uphold, individually and collectively.

 

When we as leaders are responsible to all members of our group and they are individually responsible to and for each other, everyone learns from one another.  It saves time and supports success on all levels, from financial success to mental health success to emotional maturity success. 

 

More prosperity, more happy and content people, more acting like responsible, caring adults instead of kids having a tantrum or demanding to get their way.  This is about honoring our ability to lead, our unique gifts as well as the positive qualities, strengths and abilities of everyone who works for or with us.

 

It's about recognizing and rewarding value, acknowledging your own strengths and weakness and have a healthy sense of humility, being willing to learn from and listen to others.  Knowing that we don't know everything, that we still have a lot to learn, and being open to learning from those around you; practicing and living this is a huge step forward on the road to excellence as a leader.

 

It's about having the courage to face whatever presents and trusting in our ability and the ability of those around us to succeed.   The only thing others can use against us is our own fear, and we can choose not to buy into that.  We can choose and re-choose to be motivated by love.

 

Love can move mountains in business and life.  It can inspire, uplift and motivate everyone around us simply by the calm, self-assured presence that we hold.

 

Simon Sinek's books, Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last are great reads, giving us the specifics we may need to have a clearer, more grounded picture of the long-term benefits of leading from the heart.  Leading from the heart may mean not following the crowd, debunking the theory of strength in numbers and learning to more deeply follow and honor the guidance that comes from within.

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