“With great power comes great responsibility.”
These wise words from the movie Spiderman have been quoted several times when speaking of power and in companies, power is in the hands of leaders. They have a grave responsibility – leading a company towards success and profit.
Another often-quoted statistic is that people don’t quit jobs, they quit their managers. When employees no longer have fun at work and feel undervalued by their bosses they end up quitting. With corporate pressure mounting, bosses could end up losing empathy. It is in such a word that ‘Heart Leadership’ is essential.
The 21st century employee will be a mix of millennials and gen Z. Both these generations do not respond to older hierarchical leadership patterns. They want more collaboration and understanding and companies and so, leaders need to develop new qualities. For them, power does not stem from years of experience, it came from value. New-age employees tend to respond better when leaders make them feel valued, appreciated, and cared. When leaders take the extra effort of making employees feel good, they dedicate themselves more towards the company goals.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.
According to Mark C. Crowley, the author of Leading from the Heart, found these key insights regarding employees:
– Humans are motivated by feelings and emotions
– Employee engagement is a heart behavior, not mind.
The current dynamics of power come from Niccolo Machiavelli’s 400-year-old book that says power is forceful and deceptive. But now, these old ways can’t sustain. The workplace employs more women and requires collaborative work. Businesses are multi-dimensional and global. Yet, leadership is struggling to change its ways.
A good leader knows that people need to be compensated well for their work but equally need the right emotional motivation. This involves allowing them to grow, making them know that their work matters, frequent appreciation, respect, and show them how meaningful their work is. Only when managers can do this will people be fully engaged with their work and not going from paycheck to paycheck.
“In contrast to longstanding management thinking, the heart is the driving force of human achievement, and employee engagement is a decision of the heart.” – Mark C. Crowley
Heart leadership is beneficial even to leaders. It gives them more satisfaction knowing that they are able to positively influence people and create impact. Additionally, it also results in better performance from employees that will reflect well on their career.
Listening is an important quality that also needs to be cultivated. Good leaders listen to their employees first before giving them criticism or feedback. As organizations shed the top-down hierarchy and head to a more involving culture, listening skills will be one of the primary requirements of leadership. People have different things that motivate them. A good leader will try to identify these triggers and enable people to work towards their internal goals while aligning them with the company’s goals.
Leadership is about impact and if leaders want to create a positive one that converts into both happier employees as well as high-performing companies, they need to change to inculcate heart leadership.