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Why Leading with the Heart is Needed, Now More than Ever

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Leading with heart helps businesses move into the future. It’s about being genuine, engaging people, motivation and building relationships. It’s also about being a good listener, understanding and gaining trust.  


During the pandemic, businesses have had to learn to adapt to fluctuating global environments faster than they ever did in the past. With our help, many have learnt of the immense benefits that result when leaders make personal connections.  

At the Henka Institute one of the 4 quadrants of our model is leading with heart (HeartQ or Heart Intelligence). I decided to speak to one of the world's leading experts in Leading with Heart Dr Jeff Kaplan to find out more. 

Rachel: So, what is leading with heart? 

Jeff: It is how leaders today are going to survive until tomorrow. It is how organizations are going to thrive tomorrow.

There is a real shift that's happening with the whole command control ‘do this because I said so’ hierarchy. Hierarchies are getting flatter and flatter. 

Because of the Pandemic, a lot of things are happening in the world.  There's a lot of shifts.

Before leading with heart, empathy, engagement, purpose, humility were nice to have. Now they are a must have for organisations to move forward. 

Of course you might be thinking, it sounds really great. But what's the science behind leading with heart? 

Just look up on Google: empathy, humility, leading with purpose. Years ago you really had to search for the little research coming out of such as Harvard Business Review or similar. Now that’s shifting. We can't get enough of this.

Now there’s lots of research on job satisfaction, increased engagement, job loyalty and retention. 

We all know that we're still in the midst of this great recession. That we want to give our employees a reason to stay. Giving a reason to stay is actually caring about them as human beings.

Rachel: Can you give me an example?

Jeff: I recently worked with a leader who is so under resourced. He has so much talent and he just has nobody. He's in this huge organisation, and they don’t really care about him. He’s starting to look around, thinking of leaving. Eventually the organisation is going to lose him.

It doesn't take much to lead with heart. Simply asking “How are you? And how's your family? Oh, by the way, I know that what you're doing right now is extremely difficult. I know that we are asking a lot of you right now. And and I just want you to know that we hugely appreciate it.”

Rachel: What is one shift that someone could make tomorrow to lead with heart? 

Jeff: Tap in to the heart before you speak, before you act, as you're thinking, as you're making decisions. 

You make decisions based on what the organisation needs. But the way that you execute on that decision, that's where the heart comes from. 

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