The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life by Tommy Spaulding
Tommy Spaulding shows us why it’s so important to be a heart-led leader in his bestselling new book. Think about how you connect with those around you, at work, at home, in your community.
Are you being led by love?
Don’t be taken aback by that. Yes. It’s about love.
It will influence your daily interactions not by diminishing them, as you may think, but by enriching them. Modern society tends to thrive on cliches, believing that only hardened, profit-driven individuals are needed in order to succeed. Everything’s black and white, no shades of gray in between.
LEADERSHIP’S PULSE/THE HEART-LED LEADER
Fortunately, Tommy Spaulding brings colors into that monochrome environment, painting the leadership canvas with them.
In The Heart-Led Leader he shows us how real, heartfelt, and tough experiences can lead to positive changes and love-driven results. So, remember that:
“As a leader, you never have to choose between love and results — rather, strive for love-driven results.”
Tommy Spaulding acknowledges the favorable impact of passion, commitment, and compassion in our careers and families.
Spaulding is a world-renowed leadership expert and motivational speaker, and the author of two best-sellers. Among his many achievements: youngest CEO, founder, and president of global leadership organizations. He’s a man on a mission: to reshape the status quo of leaders and organizations. In The Heart-Led Leader Spaulding revisits the people who inspired and encouraged him.
Spaulding explores the benefits of becoming a heart-led leader by convincing the readers to dive into this unexpected quest. Every inch from the head to the heart – the “18-inch Journey”, as he calls it – represents the gist of each story being told.
Spaulding wants to put an end to the differentiation between hard and soft leadership skills, without undermining their legacy:
“It’s not that old-school skills aren’t important; it’s just that there is much more to successful leadership today.”
The Heart-Led Leader is structured in three parts.
The first section starts with family, society, and a man who made a different call, thus changing the life of others. Love and leadership are the center of attention as we move to the 2nd part, with tales of extraordinary humans who overcame unimaginable hardships and who came out of them better and more driven than before. Here you’ll understand the inner workings of the 18-inch Journey. No spoilers. Not yet.
In the last part of his book, Tommy Spaulding goes down memory lane, talking about his evolution as a person and as a professional. You’ll be acquainted with the key individuals who redefined his values and questioned his convictions. The stories are deeply personal and shocking for those of us who haven’t experienced the same extent of suffering and the effects of raw, conflicting emotions.
The key concepts of The Heart-Led Leader are a testament to the riveting nature of heart-led leadership:
- Learning from others isn’t enough. You must act upon it, not only to impact your own journey, but to also inspire others who might be going through something similar.
- Love and leadership are allies, not enemies. Our humanity is a uniqueness of our species. Why do we fight so hard to erase it? Embrace the one trait that conquers all: love.
- What you want isn’t the priority. Who you are and whom you can serve is much more valuable when making life decisions that translate into heart-led leadership.
- The 18-inch Journey is the backbone of the Who Leader. Imagine a circular ladder with 18 steps descending from your head to your heart. Each step is carved with a human quality that starts with love and ends with transparency. After you discover the remaining virtues, the decision to follow your heart will be entirely yours.
Talking about discovering more, I’ll give you five of the eighteen virtues that you can apply to your daily life:
- Are you doing enough for those around you? Love, with all that it entails, is seen as a sign of weakness and an anti-survival policy. Strive to pay more attention to the people you have a responsibility towards, and to develop openness towards strangers. Connections are made through genuine interactions and receptiveness in dark times. Loss, depression, and tragedy can all be overcome by a continuous dedication to the most underrated tool of humanity: dialogue initiated and maintained with love.
- People at the top of the business food chain are often viewed as sharks. Barking orders and belittling their subordinates are their favorite past-time. Heart-led leaders show respect to their employees, whilst keeping their demands fair. It doesn’t make you any less of a CEO if you show concern and have an honest conversation with the members of your team. Because a “team” is nothing without unity and shared goals. You can’t encourage self-worth and passion from your high horse.
- It starts from your core. A volcano-tempered emotion that carries every ounce of devotion from your body towards your aim. It’s not anger. It’s “come Hell or high water, I will do this”. When hearing about survival stories, our reactions may vary from tears, anguish, and the all-too-familiar thought in the back of our minds: our own mortality. Cutting through agony, remorse, and all the range of torturous emotions is almost impossible if you don’t have determination and grit. Have faith in your own body and mind. Unlock your potential to reach out for more, step by step, and hand in hand with your faithfulness.
- Knowing “who you are” determines where you’re heading, what’s truly important. It also impacts how you interact with those around you. Indecision and doubt can chip away at your hunger for a purpose in your professional and personal life. In order to overcome that, you need to examine your inner self. You’ll find a trail of breadcrumbs that’ll lead you to the bigger picture. People love to be part of it. As a Who Leader, the ability to attract individuals that want to be the 1% of the solution materializes into a concrete and, later, successful project.
- Try to sketch an iceberg in your mind. You draw the lines of the ocean. Then it comes to what’s above and below the level of the water. Heart-led leaders paint the whole picture, without ignoring what lies beneath. All is laid out on the table. In challenging times, a candid and calm approach does the trick. This will help your team understand the full extent of the problem and work towards solving it.
Now, allow me to present a couple of theories from the heart-led leadership puzzle, which will help you envision how your life will change once you implement them:
- Direct your full attention to one other individual. Think of what you can offer them, without expecting anything in return. When I say anything, I mean anything. Don’t do it for your company, your ego, or your own profit.
- Make mistakes. Yes, and learn from them, everybody tells us. But it’s so common that the value of what can be born from it has been diluted over time. It applies fleetingly. Moreover, we’re creatures of habit. We learn the hard way, making the same mistake many times. For you to grow, it’s crucial to be a quick learner and (you guessed it) not make the same mistake twice.
- Appreciate the person, not their post. I, for one, I am deeply devoted to this. Caring only about their job title is the same as only seeing the headline of a movie poster. A heart-led leader must stay true to his character and values, without using the façade of a robot-like commander.
With this nugget I want to reiterate the last paragraph because we forget, all too often, to really see past someone’s job title:
“Heart-led leadership isn’t about a title. It’s about serving others. It’s about having an impact. It’s about love.”
The Heart-Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding will compel you to do a lot of soul-searching. It defies preconceptions. It heightens the need to have a moral compass guiding us towards our North Pole: loving and serving each other. It doesn’t ramble on about “positive thinking”; instead, it proves how being human being can enrich your professional and personal future piece by piece. It’ll start you on your way to becoming a heart-led leader.
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