A friend sent me this yesterday. I like the analogy of the “heart” of the leader and it’s effect on the “heart” of the organization. Enjoy.

By Mike Hyatt 

As a leader, you pump possibility into every person and every project. Possibility is what keeps the organization alive. Your organization can survive without your experience, your knowledge, or your skills. They, too, are important but not essential. However, your organization cannot survive without your heart.  The most important thing you can do as a leader is to keep your heart open. What do I mean? Think of it this way. When your heart is closed:

  • You are distant and aloof.
  • You don’t connect to people.
  • Communication shuts down.
  • You leave people to fend for themselves.
  • You focus on what people are doing wrong.
  • You are critical and demanding.
  • People feel oppressed.

The result? Possibility dries up and the organization begins to die.

Conversely, when your heart is open:

  • You are fully present and accessible.
  • You connect to people.
  • Communication is wide open.
  • You are a resource to your people.
  • You may focus on what is missing, but not on who is wrong.
  • You are affirming and encouraging.
  • People feel free.

The result? Possibility flows through the organization and the organization grows and develops.

The bottom line is this: it matters if your heart is open or closed. It will have a tangible impact on your organization. The good news is that you can open your heart. This is the leader’s most important work. It is foundational to building a healthy organization.

The key is two-fold: awareness and discipline. With regard to the first, you must learn to discern the condition of your own heart. Is it open? Is it closed? Is it somewhere in between? I find that I have to check-in with myself several times a day. I call this a “heart check.” I ask, Where is my focus—right now? Is it in the past, where I am grieving over loss or regretting some situation? Or is it in the future, where I am worried about something that hasn’t happened yet. Either way, I am not present to what is happening now. If I sense that my heart is closed, I have a choice. I can either leave it that way or open it up. This is where discipline comes into play. I literally make a decision to open my heart up. I force myself to think about what is possible. I choose to see this situation—these people—from the lens of possibility. As a result, I am fully present, available to the potential that exists in any given situation or relationship.

Maintaining an open heart—pumping possibility through your organization—is the most important thing you can do as a leader. This is foundational.