These last few weeks and months I have been meeting and talking with many people, each leaders in their own professions and/or the civic organizations they represent. I’ve also been reflecting back on those others I have known and/or worked with, whether in my personal, professional or civic life. In every conversation…with every interaction, I learn – about them, about their perspectives and just as importantly, about myself.
What strikes me most, perhaps more now than at times in the past, is where their heart is. As I engage others, I wonder and observe: Do they have a sense of passion and purpose in their leadership, or is it simply one more responsibility to endure? Do they lead to enable and empower others, or to dis-empower through fear and control? Is their leadership driven by a desire to serve a collective vision greater than their own, or the primary desire of self-service and unbridled ambition? Do they view the opportunity to lead others as an honor and privilege, or does their leadership instead take on an air of entitlement? At my core, I wonder if they bring their heart to their work and lead from a place of love.
If how we live shapes the course of our own lives, how we lead has the power to shape and influence those around us. The messages we communicate through our leadership, whether directly or indirectly, reflect how we feel – about ourselves, our work, our community, and those others we work and/or journey with. Moreover, we attract that which we communicate. Entitlement is met with ego, dominance breeds fear, and control erodes creativity. On the flip side, empowerment breeds growth and transparency breeds trust, while heart-centered leadership inspires hope, dedication, loyalty, and a commitment to collective achievement.
How do you lead in your own life? What factors influence and guide your leadership style? Do you bring your heart to your work, life and leadership, and if so, in what ways? How are you influenced by other leaders in your own life?