22 Jan Managing with Heart. Being a Passionate Leader Ignites Performance.
Nothing brings out more productivity from your people than leading with HEART. You can attempt to lead with brute force. You can try to lead with fear. Intimidation is always a favorite. But I can tell you from many, many years of experience that the most successful teams are led by leaders who lead from their heart, not even spreadsheets, ranking reports or performance appraisals.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to work for an amazing leader at a Fortune 100 company. While he had a bit of a serious demeanor at times, he managed to create an amazing following of loyal, hard working, and extremely successful people who would have done anything for this man. He expected a lot, but he himself gave a lot, so the dynamic was about as successful as you could get. And this team of 70+ individuals, were cranking out over $1B worth of revenue each year – which I think any company would want to emulate!
His style was to manage with heart. He knew his people extremely well. He knew what mattered to them. He would take the time to write a hand written thank you card for someone’s hard work and send it to their home address. He once sent me a box of golf balls and told me to enjoy playing a round of golf on Saturday for a great week (I actually played 36 holes that Saturday!). He would even send a Home Depot gift card to a spouse who just made a relocation move, to “thank him” for making a sacrifice for the company. He was always doing things like that. He made it seem like nothing. But to those on the receiving side, it was everything. They felt appreciated. They felt valued.
As you can imagine, this leader experienced very little turnover. Instead, employees worked harder for him. They wanted to work hard for him because they knew how much he appreciated them. He recognized them for it. They weren’t looking for bonuses or higher commissions – they were just working hard because they felt valued and they were truly enjoying their work. This dynamic can be very rare in today’s society.
Employees in other divisions of the company wanted to be on this leader’s team! It was the sought after group. When he grew the team, there was never a shortage of interviewees from other areas of the company, and he often had the best talent to pick from.
Heart is everything in a leader. If you aren’t managing with heart, you will never have the following, loyalty, productivity or success you could achieve. When employees feel valued, they can and will achieve greatness, time and time again.
Beth Sinkus is the CEO and Founder of Performance MINDSET, a firm providing Leadership Workshops, Keynotes and Consulting engagements for organizations looking to recharge their leadership teams. Please visit Performance MINDSET at www.performancemindset.com.