Leadership Without Heart is Not Leadership

heartbeat image

Nothing is quite as damaging to the overall company
as someone who is in a leadership role and lacks heart.

Sometimes it’s not the company as a whole that makes the company look bad, but rather someone who doesn’t understand how to lead others.

I think, first and foremost, when you step into a leadership role, you need to have the heart.

Heart is authentically caring about others. It’s not saying you care because your role requires you to say it; it’s demonstrating heart daily. If you don’t care about others, you can’t call what you are doing leadership. Leadership is about others. And remember, it’s not about being perfect. Leadership is a process of getting better every day. Leaders mess up. Sometimes they make a bad call. But the great ones don’t point fingers; they own it, fix it, find a solution, and grow from it. Leading with heart also means leading with humility.

Here are a few simple things that demonstrate the heart of leadership towards others.

These may seem like soft principles, but if you really think about it, would you want to work for someone or with someone who lacked these qualities? Your response is what gives these soft-looking principles muscle.

1) Be empathetic. Be understanding of others.

Understand that 100% of the people you lead are human, so be human toward them. There was a story in the news recently about a woman who sent her supervisor a text message notifying her that she would not be able to make her shift at a convenience store because her son was on life support. The supervisor replied with zero empathy and informed the woman if she didn’t show up for work, she could consider that her resignation. Since the story broke and went viral, the company has let the manager go. Good move. A lack of empathy is a lack of heart. Empathy is a way to let people know you care and are attentive to their needs. Empathy is one of the strongest ways to create a meaningful connection with those you lead.

2) Help others grow.

Before I started speaking professionally – nearly 20 years ago – I had a job working nights, cleaning floors and doing janitorial work for local company offices. When I was interviewed for the position, I was up front about my ambitions and goals of speaking full time one day. Instead of passing on me, the owner of the company showed interest, hired me, and encouraged me in my efforts. As a result, I gave him my best work and loyalty. When you know someone has your back and cares about you, you will jump through hoops for them.

Also, if people don’t feel like they are growing, they will seek out a solution to remedy that. Growth makes us feel like we matter and are getting somewhere. Growth feels good. Helping others grow might be getting them a book that will help the grow in an area of their life that will help them achieve their goals. It’s asking them if they want to attend a seminar on leadership. It’s asking them what their dreams are and how you can help them achieve their goals. It’s listening to their ideas and feedback, and putting those things into action.

3) Be grateful. A leader who cares is one who demonstrates gratitude often.

Think about the last time you did something for someone or worked extra hard and how a simple, “thank you,” made it all worth it. The more you give thanks, credit, praise, and recognition, the more you will have to give thanks for. Trust me, the absence of gratitude is one of the fastest ways to lose great people. If you value others, tell them and show them – often.

One of my little sayings is,

“You cannot claim your people make the difference
unless you treat them like they do.”

Isn’t that the truth? If you want to see people make a difference, apply some heart to your leadership efforts. How do you achieve this? Practice. If you are responsible for leading others, you will get plenty of opportunities. If these ideas are not your strengths, work on it. Like I said, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing to get better and progress every day. That is how great leadership is developed.


Sam Glenn, The Attitude GuySam Glenn is an award winning motivational speaker, author, and performance artist. Organizations who love to empower their people to think better, do better, and live better use Sam’s books and hilarious speeches to ignite more purpose and engagement in the workplace. Sam is always the most requested presenter to return by conference attendees. If you attend one of his speeches, you will see why. For more information on Sam Glenn or speaking engagement inquires, contact his office at Contact@SamGlenn.com. Sam and his team are ready to bring the “WOW FACTOR” to your next big meeting.

Check out Sam’s latest books; www.SamGLennBOOKS.com

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