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WHY! should you lead with your heart?

Have you ever been asked a question and thought WHY are you asking me that? In a recent conversation about my branding I was surprised to be ask the following question:

“Cheryl are you a dating coach”?

My answer “Well I’ve not been single since I was 15 years old, and I’ve had 4 husbands (2 the live in type and 2 that involved wedding cake) and I have written a book called “Plan Your Man” (due for release November 2016), so I can see WHY you might think so but no I’m not a dating coach. I help women to understand WHY they are where they are in terms of their life right now and help them to find their WHY for the future, which may or may not involve dating!”

“Oh I see Cheryl its just that you have hearts as part of your brand and so that’s why we thought you must be the dating specialist”

“Ah, I see, no the hearts are because I believe you should lead with your H.E.A.R.T.

So you might be thinking lead with your heart, how would that work when I’m trying to run a business. Let me share WHY I believe this is the way to go.

In a recent blog by Marion Bevington, my business partner and co founder of The Live Love Laugh Lounge™ she discussed the topic of “Musical Chairs – Collaborate or Compete” explaining WHY we grow up believing we need to be the best.

I believe the same logic can hold you back in business. Now you maybe involved in a large corporate business or you could be a Solo entrepreneur. Either way you will have employees and/or contractors and it is the ways in which we connect with these groups of individuals that I believe needs to undergo a significant change.

Just as the Industrial Age took us from individuality to group mentality, our move into the Technological/Information Age has taken us from patiently waiting to instant expectation and this can mean we now have more choices that we have ever had before in terms of whether we work for others or for ourselves, Does that make sense?

According to world the self employed / entrepreneurial scene is set to grow with the Millennial Entrepreneur ( those born 1980-1995) on average opening their 1st business at 28 years old.

I believe that no longer is there a “job for life” in fact in many cases there isn’t even a “trade for life”. Does that make sense? So variety is the spice of life. As a result we are at best easily bored and distracted. Maybe you know someone like this?

So what do these changes mean in terms of leadership?

Well, think about this for moment if the way we work and the way we live has changed, surely, it must be obvious that they way we respond has changed too, right?

The leadership of the past was based around Command and Control and I believe this is outdated. WHY? well because there are more choices these days around what we will accept and more importantly, what we wont accept, this means that people vote will with their feet (or in recent weeks with a cross on a ballot paper!)

And here’s the news; the only people who accept the Command and Control way of working are those that are either set in their old ways or are too scared to leave.

So let me ask you a question, do you want to have people who are living in fear working for you?

If you said yes, good luck to you, because I believe that these environments nurture the following attributes in the leader. the leader of course can be male or female:

  • Paranoia
  • Rigid
  • Indifferent
  • Disguise
  • Egocentric

Lets look at these in more detail:

Paranoia: this attribute means the leader always thinks that their employees are trying to “screw them over”, they lack trust and because of this they try to keep control of everything from costs to fulfilment and in return their employees only get to do the mundane jobs or they feel micro-managed (one of the top reasons people leave an employed position)

Rigid: my way or the high way. With this approach leaders remain stead fast and like a solid structure in a high wind they can fall (unlike a flexible object that can go with the flow and still survive)

Indifferent: this is where the leader forgets that even though they may have years of experience in the game, the people that they work with don’t. The leader forgets to meet their people where they currently are and this can lead to frustration and ineffectiveness for both parties.

Disguise: here the leader hides behind a persona, they keep themselves separate from the group. They wear a suit of amour to make sure no-one gets close.

Egocentric: this leader thinks only of themselves, without regard for the feelings or desires of others in other words they are self-centred. They are short-sighted looking only at short term gains rather than long term benefits. A leader who is egocentric looks to see how they can benefit rather than the whole company.

WHY is this approach as a leader a problem? well, remember “P.R.I.D.E. comes before a fall”

If you want to Control and Command you’ll end up with a group of yes men and women who rely on you 100%, which may sound great however, it means you’ll be a slave to your work too because you will only ever think that you can do it right, so delegation will not work for you!

And here’s another interesting thought, those who work for someone who adopt this way of leading may also to take a back seat approach, in other words they don’t bring ideas to the table, which means the business can lose out on ways to cost save or indeed ways to increase turnover and profit. And with regards to customer care, if the leader doesn’t look after the people who work for them, well, I guess there is little chance of them knowing how to act with the clients either.

Those employees who won’t work in these conditions will leave when the going gets tough because they feel no connection to the leader, remember people leave leaders not companies!

So WHY! lead with your H.E.A.R.T?

Those leaders who lead with their heart have recognised that because we are living in the AGE of Information it means we are more connected than ever in our lives. We can Skype a friend, connect on FaceBook or share information via YouTube in a matter of minutes even if they are on the other side of the world.

So in fact we are living in the Age of Connection and that connection is Global, Open and Sharing.

I believe that most people want to do their best in life, at work, at home and at play. Best doesn’t mean they always want to win and it doesn’t mean they want to do it on their own.

So if you are a leader of a team, think about the individuals, all those brilliant parts that come together to make the whole and one of those pieces of course is you. So a heart centred leader is about Connection and Collaboration, using the following traits:

  • Humility
  • Engaging
  • Authentic
  • Respectful
  • Trust

In other words;

Humility, this is an admirable quality that not many people let alone leaders possess. It means that you may have accomplished alot, or be alot but you don’t feel it is necessary to advertise or brag about it. You have confidence and your communication is both clear and consistent to the team as you know they can all contribute and in some cases they may have better ideas than you.

Engaging, meaning that you bring others into the conversation, ask people for their opinions. Here you realises that leadership is not exclusive to one person or indeed a title, it is about collaboration.

Authentic, you walk the talk, there is nothing to hide, you are who you are, which means you are connected to yourself in the first instance, you know where you need help and your not afraid to ask for it. You know you don’t have to pretend you have all the answers. You are prepared to be vulnerable, share what you stand for and commit.

Respectful,  when you as a leader respect others as human beings not just as a way of reaching your goals and targets. Respectfulness also means you understand that there are 2 ways to view a situation and yours is not the only one.

Trust, as a heart lead leader you have to let go and believe in others, not everyone is the same, just because you might have been hurt in the past it doesn’t mean that everyone else will do the same thing to you.

I believe when you lead with your H.E.A.R.T. you are able to lead but in a way that others choose to follow not that they feel they have no choice.

In writing this blog I found there are very few men who state that they are heart centred leaders, I’d love to hear your thoughts on WHY!

There are some including Richard Branson who has spoken  many times about the people being the real success of his business.


Thinking about it, leadership is a little bit like falling in love, would you agree you have to have an emotional connection to want to be with someone, to follow them and to help them?

So going back to the original question about the hearts in the Find Your WHY! brand,  its because what Marion & Myself stand for is Collaboration and Connection and maybe thats not so different from being a dating coach after all , I mean we are all looking for long term relationships . Right?

The question is what kind of leader do you want be, are you ready to change and adapt with an ever evolving world or are you going to use outdated techniques that keep your business small?

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” Richard Branson

Many people often ask WHY! do you not work with men too, well the answer is we do, however, most men opt for our Personal Mentoring on a 1:1 basis as apposed to our group sessions.

In the community groups we run, Marion and myself help women like you to Find Your WHY!

In The Live Love Laugh Lounge™ the WHY’s women members are a community of like-minded H.E.A.R.T. centred women because we believe;

“You don’t have to figure it out on your own
and You don’t have to do it alone!

In “The Live Love Laugh Lounge™” we offer online lessons and mentorship programs that take you through a step-by-step structured approach with the AIM to Find Your WHY! To Become Frickin’ Awesome.

You’ll discover all you need to know about clarifying and clearing your blocks to abundant health, wealth and happiness!

Complete the boxes below to get you hands on a FREE hard copy of the book Find Your WHY!
(all we ask is a small fee for shipping & handling)

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In the meantime Remember to Live Love Laugh everyday and be a H.E.A.R.T. centred leader in every way!

Love Cheryl & Marion xx

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