The Heart Of The Matter

“Leadership has always been and will always remain an affair of the heart.  For when the heart is there, the organization pulses and thrives, and when it disappears, it withers and dies…”

Our heart.

The core of our being…physically, as well as emotionally.

In life, as in leadership.

A core from which we ever choose to separate ourselves from will create a state of disrepair, causing both to whither away.

Our heart…in life as well as in leadership, serves as the very essence of who we are, what we are…the very essence of our humanity.

For our heart serves us…physically and emotionally.  It serves from our core to make us all that we are.  Shaping us from the inside out.

For the heart is much more than an organ, a muscle…

We live in a world that has decidedly moved to take the heart out of the matter.  More and more we see leadership applying a cold, clinical, and calculated approach.  We want data.  We want the skinny.  Determine the bottom-line, cut away the baggage, and move on.  The less mess the better.  Strip away the clutter.  Neat.  Clean.  Unblemished.  Untarnished.

The only problem with that…

Life is never cut and dried.  It never comes to us all wrapped up, neat and tidy, with a bow on top.  Rather, life is more like a brimming full bowl of liquid we carry about trying futilely not to spill.  Sloshing around, spilling, a little here, a little there…messy.  Always unpredictable.

Which is why life and leadership both require heart.  Our heart serves as the core of the matter.  For when the heart is there, our life and leadership pulse, thrive, and grow.  And when the heart is absent, both our life and leadership become cold, wither, and fade away.

The heart serves at our core…it is responsible for everything, our entire being.  It is the hardest working muscle in our body.  And when it is used, it becomes stronger and improves the overall health of the body.

In much the same way, a leader must serve at the core of the organization.  Serving.  Providing.  Strengthening.  Building capacity within and throughout.

We don’t always notice the work of the heart…but we notice when it isn’t working or there are problems.  As with the heart, as in our leadership.  Great leadership isn’t always noticeable, but poor and lacking leadership is very noticeable…often wreaking havoc and infecting poor health across the organization.  Just like the heart, a leaders goal is to make the organization function at its highest level without taking the main stage, without being noticeable.  As a heart, working behind the scenes and making sure that all of the body is connected, healthy.

It can be easier to take a cold, clinical, and calculated approach to leadership.  It is efficient and clean.  And disconnected.

Or you can choose to make your leadership an affair of the heart.  Less efficient.  More effective.  Less clean.  More messy.  And more connected.

And in the end, isn’t that truly what leadership is about…connecting at deeper levels.  As people.  And as an organization.


2 thoughts on “The Heart Of The Matter

  1. Great post!
    Connecting with caring and candor.. with heart, is indeed the “heart of the matter” for leaders and educators.
    Here’s to a paradigm shift from focusing efforts on raising test scores ( or profits, or other data driven metrics, as the case may be), to raising connection scores…
    Here’s to the learning, growth, enhanced problem-solving, innovation, critical development and elevated key performance indexes, that will naturally ensue as a byproduct of connected, caring engagement.

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