How to “Lead from the Heart” with Mark Crowley

On June 14 and 15 Colorado Technical University held its graduation ceremony in Denver. The event drew nearly 600 graduates from around the world, as well as nationally recognized speakers, including Mark Crowley who sat down with us after his presentation to share additional thoughts on leading from the heart.

CTU Student Success - Lead from the Heart by Mark C. CrowleyIf you Google “leadership,” you’ll get more than 350 million results. Leadership is a topic of conversation on the minds of many, including CTU’s recent graduates, and Mark Crowley, author of “Lead from the Heart”, offered these follow-up insights.

You Can Make a Difference

Anyone in a leadership position has had moments when he or she wondered: How can I make a difference in my organization? Crowley suggests to, “Hit it right up front. Go with it.” This doesn’t mean adopting an authoritative leadership approach where you make demands and punish those who don’t comply. You do the opposite. You care about your team. You make them feel significant. You show them your heart.

Leading Takes Courage

When you choose to lead from the heart, you’ll face resistance. People will say it’s too soft and that you’re being too weak. But the idea of leading from the heart is one that is ripe for today’s increasingly disengaged and unhappy workplace. Crowley says 60 percent of adult Americans regret their career choices. They accept a job for money, but quickly realize their work offers little beyond a paycheck. They want more from their careers and that includes having a purpose and using their unique talents.

Put People First

In many organizations, metrics and results are leading priorities. When you lead from the heart, people become your priority. That starts with putting people in the right job fit so they can work at their best, tapping into their unique skills and doing work that adds to their personal purpose. When you put people first, you create happy employees, which drives engagement and ultimately drives sustainable bottom line results.

How to Turn Around Your Organization

Transforming an organization into one that leads from the heart is no small feat. But you can get started with these tips:

  • Be clear about your organization’s culture. Know what your organization stands for and what it believes, and then make sure everyone understands it in the same way so they can align with those values.
  • It’s OK to lose people. A successful organization isn’t built on having warm bodies. It’s built by having the right people in the right positions. After clarifying your culture and vision, it may become clear that some people shouldn’t stay. Give them an opportunity to change, but also become comfortable letting them go if they choose not to.
  • Tweak your leadership metrics. Most organizations measure a leader’s success by the results they achieve: revenue, cost savings, etc. Crowley suggests adding metrics that measure the extent of leader’s ability to grow others. For example, ask them to name three people who you made a significant contribution in growing as a leader. After all, leadership is about achieving results through people.

Interested in learning more? Follow Mark Crowley’s blog where he shares his ideas and insights on leading from the heart.

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Image Credit: Mark Crowley 

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