Heart-Centered Leadership

Your heart is the most important leadership tool you have. Remember this quote from Nelson Mandela: “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Mostly, we have been led to believe that being emotional means weak and that one will back away from hard decisions.

This is not true. If you think with your heart, you will see that it is not right.

The world of work is becoming increasingly focused on leading with a story and a heart, as employees and customers are drawn to open-minded and purpose-led companies.

A leader is anyone who can influence and impact others through their words, actions and behaviours. A modern leader understands the most effective way to lead is by using their head and their heart.

3 Differences of a Heart-Centered Leader

The focus is to serve the people that you are leading, not the other way around.

A heart-centered leader tells the truth.  If you are not able to provide information when asked, you must be willing to explain why you aren’t at liberty to share that information.

A heart-centered leader does not judge or assume, but comes to understand, asking the right questions instead rushing to judgment and assumption. (Source)

So how can leaders shift towards a more heart-centered leadership mode of thinking and acting?


You Might be a Heart-Centered Leader if…

In an article published on INC.com, the following items were included:

  • You tell the truth.
  • You trust your associates to do the right thing.
  • You are able to relinquish control. As leaders, we don’t really have it anyway. Our associates do. If you think that’s not true, try getting anything done without them.
  • You know your impact and are mindful of how your words and actions may be interpreted in formal and informal ways.
  • You aim to serve the people that you are leading, not the other way around.
  • You are open-minded and do not judge or assume, but come to understand a situation or behavior.
  • You take care of your “whole-self”–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  • You have the willingness to look in the mirror and come to terms with your own character flaws.
  • You are committed to personal and professional growth.
  • You strive to mentor others and surround yourself with people that have skills, talents and styles different from your own.
  • You are empathetic and strive to maintain the self-esteem of others.
  • You have an “open-door” policy.
  • You believe that, given the right support, people rise to the occasion on their own and actually feel good about being held accountable.
  • You develop strategies that involve, promote, call upon, and inspire associates to participate fully in creating, renewing, or revitalizing the organization.
  • You have compassion for yourself and others.
  • You replace blame with responsibility.
  • You believe that people have positive intentions, even if associates’ behavior appears to illustrate the opposite.
  • You are committed to making a difference not only in your own life, but in the lives of your associates and society as a whole.
  • You listen before speaking.
  • You create an environment where feedback is expected and appreciated.
  • You are not afraid to admit your mistakes.
Latest posts by Isik Serifsoy (see all)