How’s Your Heart?

For leaders it is easy to become enamored with the skills of leadership and neglect matters of the heart.

In business, heart stuff feels soft. But make no mistake ... people are more important than products, and people have hearts. Without people and their hearts, there are no productsor profits.

HeartYesterday, my friend and co-author of FINDING YOUR WAY, Dan Webster sent me a quote from author and educator, Parker Palmer. Dan was challenging me (as he so often does) to pay attention to my heart.

Parker’s quote has me thinking. Truthfully, it has messed me up a bit, so I thought I would pass it along to youyou’re welcome!

Within us is the courage to hold life’s tensions consciously, faithfully, and well, until they break us open. The broken-open heart is a source of power as well as compassion—the power to bring down whatever diminishes us and raise up whatever serves us well. We can access and deploy that power by putting time, skill, and energy into the education and mobilization of the powers of the heart. – Parker J. Palmer

There are times when I try to escape life’s tensions. Honestly, I don’t always want to be broken open. I want to be comfortable, not courageous.

Oh, I say I want to be courageous, but when it comes time to look inside myself and muster up servanthood and compassion, comfort somehow seems to win the argument.

When you think about your leadership, how’s your heart? How much time and energy do you spend mobilizing the powers that are buried inside of you? Is it time to take your heart to school for some education?

Perhaps your issue is a lack of patience. If so, heart training might include making yourself stand in a line today or to drive in the slow lane during an entire commute.

Is anger your nemesis? Maybe a pad and pen with a list of twenty-five reasons you have to be grateful.

Are you greedy? If yes, it’s time to give something away. Something that will cause you to sacrifice.

While it may feel squishy, may I remind you that true leadership is not just about a person’s skills. My friend, Mark Miller, always says, “If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills.”

If you genuinely want to move from impressing people to influencing them, I encourage you to start with your heart.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What practices or habits do you have in place to cultivate your heart?

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