Today’s guest, Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead From the Heart, knows the secret to make great leadership happen. He proves, without a doubt, the physiological reasons why leading from the heart give teams and companies real advantage.
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From Difficult Beginnings
Mark’s mother passed away when he was young, and his father seemed intent on destroying Mark’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It’s hard to imagine a parent treating a child this way – but we all know it does happen, and the children have to find their own way forward.
After his father kicked him out of the family home, Mark had a few dark years but a powerful drive to prove his father wrong, succeed and make an impact on the world.
While in college, Mark noticed how different his peers were in terms of how they seemed prepared for the world in a way that he wasn’t. Mark turned his own experience around and realized that if he had had more coaching, support, mentoring and love — his life would have been better and easier — so he decided to give those things to the people he was leading as a manager.
Science Meets Philosophy
When Mark started writing his book, it was to fulfill a personal dream, to articulate his philosophy, and help other managers. And then a friend asked him if he was going to explain how it works, scientifically. This meant that Mark had to dig into the physiological reasons that, leading from the heart, make you an effective manager.
So he wrote to world-class cardiologists to find scientific evidence. They all ignored him, until, while having a test run, he met a new doctor who was able to connect him with the professionals he needed to bring the weight of science to his thesis of management.
It’s been found that the human heart has intelligence, and this is awesome news for the business community. The cardiac surgeon Mark consulted told him that with his book, he’d figured out something that the medical community was just beginning to understand: your biography–what happens to you–affects your biology. As in medicine, in management, it’s how we feel that makes us decide how to behave at work.
It Isn’t Always An Easy Sell
Love can be evidenced in a lot of ways: setting expectations, sharing heartfelt feedback, getting to know people as people. You can’t manage people if you don’t know their story. How can you support someone, and give them what they need if you don’t know the realities of their life, their motivations, and their priorities?
When so many people absolutely dread going to work in the morning, and we KNOW that lack of recognition and appreciation is a huge cause of that, why do so many managers think they need to be sparing with praise, appreciation and great feedback? It should be constant– a part of the culture.
Fear Works, But Not Forever
The people who work for you don’t want you to be the boss ALL the time. Sometimes you should just have a regular, normal conversation. It’s not a waste of time — it’s where the heart gets its energy. But all too often, managers feel like they have to be authoritative, and use fear to get things done. The thing is — fear works. It helps people hit numbers and milestones. But what’s the cost? Is it sustainable? What is the cost of using fear to lead, and is it worth it?
After graduating, Mark’s son told him that there was “no way in hell I want your career.” And while that sounds like the kid is a jerk, what he was actually telling his dad was that “I’ve seen how you were treated and what it did to you. I want something different.” Younger generations are refusing to live and work in fear. That can only be a good thing– and we should do the same.
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Quote of the Day
[Employee] engagement is a decision of the heart because feelings and emotions drive our thinking, not the other way around. More often than not, it’s how we feel that makes the decision, in terms of how we actually behave at work.
- Annie McKee: How to be Happy at Work (Episode #13)
- Terry Turner: We’re All In This Together (Episode #8)
- Claude Silver: Being a Chief Heart Officer (Episode #6)
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