Extraordinary Team Blog

Breaking Management Myths

Posted by Joseph Sherren on December 31, 2014

My last column was entitled “Leading from the Heart” and focused on how we need to change focus from command and control to a more empathetic focused management style.

Since then, I have been informed there is actually a book called “Lead from the Heart”.

In fact, some of the information I came across should have actually been accredited to this author.

Now the more I learn about him, the more impressed I am with his work, his background and his research.

The book “Lead from the Heart” was written by Mark C. Crowley, who spent 25 years as a professional in the financial services industry where only the strongest survive.

In this environment, he rose to senior executive positions and was named “Leader of the Year.”

But, he was different.

When he was asked what he was doing differently, he said: “It’s the same disciplined approach others have with numbers and production, but mine is with people. You could say I manage the emotional side of work. I intentionally make people feel valued.”

He went on to say: “I express my deep belief in people, proactively teach them skills and make a deliberate point of honoring and recognizing all their achievements.”

This reminds me of an old boss of mine, Tom Watson of IBM, who many years ago said: “Every manager must have their heart in the business … and the business in their heart”.

Mark’s book shows that our traditional ways of leading people are failing and we need an entirely new approach towards management — a methodology which is tied to new scientific discoveries.

His book is now being taught at two universities in the United States.

Mark reaffirms much of my own research and studies, as well as what I have observed and have been teaching over the years.

His assertion is that it is the heart and not the mind that drives human achievement.

He uses scientific research, studies and statistics to prove that our traditional leadership model has reached the end of its effectiveness and that productivity and employee engagement is suffering because of it.

He summarizes four management practices that embody the idea of leading from the heart:

1) Hire people with heart to build an engaged team:

Companies should not only hire people with talent and skills, but find people who will put their heart into their work.

2) Connect with your people (heart to heart) on a personal level:

Crowley maintains that leaders who make a personal connection with employees and learn about their dreams and aspirations inspire their highest achievement.

3) Empower the heart to maximize employee potential:

People have an ability to do more, achieve more and be more successful if they are supported by someone they feel truly cares for them as an individual.

4) Inspire the heart by valuing and honoring individual and team behaviors:

It is often underestimated just how much appropriate recognition can influence people’s attitudes.

Be very intentional about providing it in a timely manner when truly earned.

Stephen Covey said: “You can buy a person’s hands, but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm is, where his loyalty is.”

As a manager, you must earn that.

This book is powerful and one that I recommend you take time to read. To learn more about Mark and his work go to http://markccrowley.com

My question for managers this week: “What do you do to balance your focus between production driven activities and people driven activities?”