“Two octogenarians, one from Germany and the other from Denmark, were an unlikely couple. They had each enjoyed sixty years of marriage before being widowed. Though living only fifteen minutes apart, their homes were in separate countries. Still, they fell in love, regularly cooking meals and spending time together. Sadly, in 2020, due to the coronavirus, the Danish government closed the border crossing. Undeterred, every day at 3:00 p.m., the two met at the border on a quiet country lane and, seated on their respective sides, shared a picnic. “We’re here because of love,” the man explained. Their love was stronger than borders, more powerful than a pandemic.” -Our Daily Bread Ministries, February 14, 2022
Love is a powerful word full of emotion that drives people to make choices. Like the story from Our Daily Bread, people make choices based on love, passion, and what is valued in their life. Leaders who lead with their hearts create a unique organizational culture. This culture cultivates positive returns. Employees with compassionate leaders have stronger relationships with their leaders and each other—a higher level of engagement with the opportunity to be part of something bigger than their role.
Leadership from the heart guides each individual to the core of what motivates each one toward achieving a difference for others. When our approach is to encourage, value, and appreciate the work of each individual of our team, great things are accomplished.
How do I lead from the heart?
- Listen to your team
- Ask for feedback
- Get to really know your staff
- Provide value to others
- Genuinely appreciate
- Help others grow
- Share your vision
- Celebrate small, medium, and big things-often
- Always work to build trust, be humble, and team efforts
- Seek to understand
- Open communications, vulnerable, challenging, and difficult conversations
No matter how young or old you are, everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. People will leave their jobs not because of money but because of how they are made to feel. If you do not have an exit interview in your workplace, please utilize one. If you are leaving a position, please complete one. I have to admit, I was sent an exit interview to finish, but I did not complete it at the time. Why? It is a long story for another time, but I did not leave the place; it had left me. I recently resigned (3 years later). It would make sense to send it to me now. My official retirement will happen this year. However, exit surveys only work if you utilize the data to decide on action steps to change. Often I hear, “The individual was angry because they were disciplined.” Conversations still need to be held to understand the entire picture. If many employees are leaving, why should they be asked and answered? This does not rest with your HR department but with your leadership team. Leaders have to be open to hearing criticism and suggestions. Then be willing to act on making positive changes and corrections. If they are not, there is no need to complete all of these steps, and a different action step may be in order.