Today on Unleashed we welcome Mark Crowley, a leadership consultant, professional speaker, and the best-selling author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century. His ambition is to fundamentally change how we lead people in the workplace.
Mark honed his leadership abilities over a 20 plus year career in the ultra-competitive banking and financial services industry where he excelled as a leader by implementing unusual practices. He was named Leader of The Year for driving record sales performance while managing nearly 2,000 investment brokers across the nation. And he accomplished all this by breaking away from traditional leadership theory – and serving as both an advocate and a caring coach to every person on his team. And those unique leadership practices influenced his employees to become uncommonly committed and achievement-driven.
He is a regular leadership contributor to Fast Company Magazine and has been published in The Huffington Post, Reuters, CEO Magazine, USA Today, Thrive Global, and the Great Place to Work Institute.
- The needs of employees today have generally outpaced organizations and leaders.
- Today, most people’s basic needs have been satisfied (the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid), so work now has to be more than a value transaction; people want to work for more than just a paycheque.
- Being a good individual contributor doesn’t mean someone will be a good leader, but traditionally that’s how organizations have promoted people.
- Heart-based leadership is coming of age in the modern workplace. Research shows that people who feel safe and trusted are more productive and successful, in turn leading to more success for their teams and organizations.
- Leading from the heart is leading with care first.
- Leaders demonstrating empathy, care and even love for employees is heart-based leadership.
- It’s a balance; heart-based leadership does not mean ignoring the ‘head’ aspects of managing people. Leaders still have to set expectations and goals, address issues, and measure performance objectively. But this needs to be combined with authentic care.
- Leaders should espouse an attitude of being a coach and mentor more than a manager. “Employees are just on loan to us, and it’s our job to coach, cultivate and grow them.”
- Humans are ‘whole beings,’ not machines, and must be treated holistically: heart and head, home and work, etc.
- COVID has shone a light on the need for care centred leadership. Employees are working from home, balancing high levels of stress for their families and their future, and the only way they can stay productive is by having caring leaders.
Actions You Can Take Right Now:
- Lead with empathy – constantly ask, “what would I want if I was in that person’s shoes?”
- Make weekly calls to all direct reports with no agenda other than to just check-in.
- Communicate expectations about when work hours start and end. Due to the pandemic, people are struggling with balance and burning out.
- Institutionalize recognition – create a space for formal and frequent gratitude.
- Cancel meetings that are not necessary. In the current environment, people are being meeting’ed to death.
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Each episode of Unleashed is hosted by Results’ CEO Jeff Tetz who spends most of his day exploring what makes high performers tick and helping build a community of leaders who want to learn and grow together. Follow Jeff (Twitter; LinkedIn; Instagram) for more great leadership insights.