Lead With Your Heart
For most of my life I was told that I was a “natural” leader. However, I never quite understood what that meant.
Was I a leader because I was the best player on my team, or because I was the captain?
Was I a leader because I had the loudest voice in the room?
Was I a leader because I was eager to please, so I willingly volunteered when asked?
As I grew into adulthood my definition of a leader began to take shape. I thought it was the person who was out in front of the group. Someone who was willing to take charge in a crisis, or takeover when no one else was willing.
This led to some great opportunities and experiences for me to lead others, but it also led to some unhealthy emotions for me as a person. I was developing a temper and was developing a habit of avoiding the most important areas of my life, specifically my family.
ARE YOU A LEADER?
Leadership is a process of influence.
When you influence the thinking, behaviour or development of people toward accomplishing a goals, either personal or professional, you are taking on the role of a leader. – Ken Blanchard
Would you describe these roles as leaders?
A mother or a father with their child.
A friend who helps another through a tough experience.
A teacher who shapes the minds of their young students.
A coach who challenges their star player when they break the rules.
When you consider these roles, most of the leadership that shapes our lives does not come from leaders with titles on an organizational chart, it comes from leaders in our daily life relationships.
Most current wisdom emphasizes spending time on changing our actions, or our habits, but if our heart is not in the right place, we will not have the desired impact or outcome.
TRUE LEADERSHIP COMES WHEN WE LEAD FROM THE HEART
When we shift our focus from “what is in it for me?” which is a self-focused leader, to “what can I do to help you” which is leading with the heart, we become leaders that have an impact.
How do we determine the type of leader that we are? There are three patterns to examine character and the difference between a self-focused leader and leading with the heart.
How do you handle negative feedback? Do you consider it a threat? Do you react defensively?
How do you handle succession planning? Do you prepare others to take your place?
What have you left behind in the heart and minds of those you teach or work with?
What is your perspective on who you think leads and who follows? Do you expect others to follow?
Do you respect the wishes of those that have entrusted you with the responsibility of leading?
EVERYONE IS A LEADER
Everyone is a leader and we are responsible to prepare others for the journey ahead.
Leadership is when you take your role to influence the thinking, behaviour or development of a person to accomplish a goal.
Be open to feedback, look for opportunities to replace yourself and walk alongside those that you lead.
When you consider the roles of mother/father, friend, teacher or coach, these leaders shape our lives in daily life role relationships.
When you lead with your heart all other areas of leadership will fall into place, ensuring that you impact the lives of those around you to live out their best life.