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Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
-Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English Novelist 1797 – 1851
Heart:  The emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature; generous disposition; a leader with heart; one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations; the central or innermost part; the essential or most vital part of something.

Soul: The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life; the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe; a person's total self; the moral and emotional nature of human beings.

The thing that’s missing from many businesses and organizations today is heart and soul.

Would you like it if people called you and your organization heartless or soulless? Of course not! But, if you don’t intentionally include heart and soul as foundational principles—vital to your success—you are committing the sin of omission.

Who cares if we have it together mentally and physically, if there’s no heart and soul?

Just last month, another survey conducted by Global TV verified that over 50% of working individuals are not at all engaged at their work. The reality is that in the majority of organizations, HR departments and career professionals currently are not assisting the majority of people to be connected to their profession or job.

Where is our heart and soul when we continue to support and perpetuate dissatisfaction and lack of engagement at work?

We all would agree that fully engaged and on purpose employees have far more potential to contribute than those who are not.

Why are we not acting on that challenge?

Here are some reasons people don’t lead with heart and soul, personally and professionally.
  • Fear of the unknown and the potential outcome. Because so few organizations function at this level, it can appear an overwhelming task or project. They could worry, "what if this approach goes sideways and reduces results?" They are usually driven by a lack of confidence or competence.
  • A sign of weakness. I have had professionals say that to me. The book Good To Great confirmed that great leaders care about their people and demonstrate humility in the process. Operating with heart and soul actually displays confidence and strength in your convictions.
  • An invalid approach to the team. This is a false assumption. Many individuals and teams are erroneously labeled as not interested, when they have never been given the chance to engage work and others in this manner. Recently I conducted a program for a group of team leaders who previously had not been given the opportunity to discuss and share the dynamics of their work environment. Prior to this session, management was concerned that the team might not participate in such open and transparent discussions. The opposite was true. The team fully engaged in the process.
  • Lack of necessary skills, effort, and knowledge. Many leaders simply do not have what it takes to operate at this level. How can people lead others with heart and soul if those two principles have never been modeled for them or if they have not shown those qualities before?
The truth is that given the right environment and culture, most individuals want to contribute and communicate at the heart and soul level.

We simply have not given them the chance or supported a culture that personally or organizationally embraces it!
  • Are you and your organization leading with heart and soul?
  • If we surveyed your staff, what would they say?
  • If the answer is No, why?
  • What do you think is holding you back from creating a respectful environment that embraces fully engaged individuals?
Admittedly, to be able to lead others with heart and soul, you first must set a good example. Credibility will come from what you are doing—not from what you are saying.

To lead from the heart requires that you and others are connected to your respective purpose.

© Consulting Resource Group International, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Ken Keis
Web site: Consulting Resource Group
Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. In the past 20 years, he has conducted over 2000 presentations including 10,000 hours of coaching and HR consulting.

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