If I had to choose one word to describe what it takes to lead from the heart, it would be courage. The word itself comes from the Old French corage, meaning “heart” or “innermost feelings.” Trace that back to Latin and you’ll find the word for heart: cor.
There are, of course, many other attributes that power heart-based leadership like confidence, communication, and vision, but courage is the motor that drives all of these toward results.
Top 10 Big Ideas
1. Come Down from the Mountaintop
By mountaintop, I’m talking about your brain. There are thousands of books and programs on leadership that are filled with strategies and techniques, the vast majority of which are based on mindset and ways to think. In this course, we’ll look at leadership from the perspective of the heart.
2. Follow Your Heart
The heart is now known to be much more than a beating pump that transports blood throughout the body. The organ itself emits an electromagnetic current so powerful that it can be measured up to 10 feet outside the body. The heart also has this extraordinary way of pulling the body systems into harmony. In physics, this is called entrainment.
In a sense, the heart is the leader of the body. Think of it as a conductor at a switching station and that’s sort of how it works. By looking at the ways in which the heart leads the body, you can extrapolate some of these same lessons into ways to lead your team.
3. Coherence is Contagious
Heart-based leadership is about systems and people working together. By focusing on your own level of heart coherence (when head/heart entrainment occurs), you can directly impact others. Not only can you affect their physiological coherence and their emotions, you can also inspire them to come together around a vision. Instead of incoherent plans and strategies, a clarified purpose can emerge.
4. Heart-Based Communication
Just as coherence in the body is created by focusing on positive feelings like love, peace, compassion and gratitude, these same emotions can affect the way in which your words are received. When you speak from your heart, people are more likely to accept and thoughtfully consider your words.
5. Trust Your Intuition
Research can now trace the source of intuition directly to the heart. To lead from the heart, you must constantly ask yourself, “What feels right?” Since feeling is more subtle than thought, following your intuition won’t always get you to the same point as strategic analysis, but that can lead to extraordinary innovation.
6. Tap Into the Source of Courage
By learning how to get out of your head and into your heart, you’ll be able to evade much of the fear-based mind chatter that often holds you back. Self-sabotage and a lack of confidence are usually created from stories or “set points” in your inner child’s limited version of who you are.
From the heart’s perspective, you are limitless and connected to all that is. What can you not do from that vantage point?!
7. Pay Attention
When you shift the point of awareness from your head to your heart, you move from analysis and judgment to feeling. While both are crucial for courageous leadership, you’ll learn to observe instead of judge. Then you can clearly answer the question, “What does this situation demand?” and act accordingly. Instead of following “standard operating procedures,” the heart can offer intuitive and creative solutions.
8. Remember the Higher Purpose
As a heart-based leader, you need a personal mission statement as well as a team mission, something that connects you to a higher purpose. Remembering the greater purpose of your mission also assists you in letting go of control (one of the biggest paradoxes for leaders!) and embracing uncertainty.
Leadership is not about people-pleasing and power playing. It’s about guiding an evolution – either as a team, a family, or an individual. By understanding where your team is now, and where they are going, you can anticipate their changing needs before they arise.
9. Lead Yourself First
Practice self-responsibility. You are the only one responsible for your thoughts, your feelings, your perceptions, your environment, your words, and your body.
Being able to give yourself a command (and follow it) is the highest form of self-discipline. Do what you say you are going to do. Serve as a role model and walk the talk.
10. Expect Miracles
A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as a shift in perception. When you shift to your heart’s perspective, you will not only see miracles in your own life, but in the lives of those you lead.