Tag Archives: heart

Monday Morning Moment – What It Takes to Be the Leader You Think You Already Are – Fast Read

Blog - Lead from the heart - businessinsiderPhoto Source: Business Insider

You are going to be so glad you are taking the time to read this. None of us want to think we’re leading well and find out, too late, that we missed the mark.  To be successful as a process manager, or content expert, or vision caster is something to celebrate, for sure. However,  if you don’t genuinely love your people (genuinely. love. your. people), it will mark your leadership and your personnel over time. Mark and mar. Don’t miss that…for your own sake and that of your organization – each employee and all employees.

A friend of mine told me recently that he’s never met the CEO of his company. He is not sure the CEO has ever walked down his department’s hallway. That made me sad, because I know the caliber of work he does and the quality of person he is. He would be such an encouragement to his company’s executive leader. Maybe he was out the day the CEO came down his hall…surely he showed up…once at least. Surely.

My husband speaks several times each year on leading from the heart. I love to hear him speak; it’s a good reminder for me in my own area of influence. Besides my husband, my other go-to person on this subject is Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart – Transformational Leadershp for the 21st Century.

In a Forbes piece, Mark was interviewed by Ron Carucci on 4 Radical Leadership Practices that Will Dramatically Increase Engagement. You should read this piece in full. Here are those four practices in brief:

  • Invest deeply. Crowley defines deep investment as this: “You are personally spending ample time ensuring people are learning, growing, and thriving. You have a high bar for performance expectations, and you are personally helping people reach it. Every. Single. Day.” [Not just your administrative team, but every single employee in your organization. Too often leaders, busy as they are, leave this to others who may not have their character or their sense of what could be lost/gained.] Blog - Lead from the heart - slidesharePhoto Credit: Slideshare
  • Connect personally.  Raising boundaries in relationships at work (keeping a professional distance) doesn’t lead to objectivity; more they lead to ignorance. You think you know how people are, but do you really? Have you talked to personnel? Have you sat down at their work station? Ever? “People we lead have big stories, and we are part of that story.” You aren’t interested in a popularity contest, of course…but are you an empowering force in your employees’ lives…or a devaluing force? Check it out.Blog - Lead from the heart - essentialsofbusinessPhoto Credit: Essentials of Business
  • Hire for heart. “You have to hire people who are predisposed to care. If you hire for technical competence, or a track record of hitting numbers, that’s all you’ll get” warns Crowley. Maybe your leadership team is already in place and entrenched. Do your managers really care about your personnel? Are they following your lead in their role? This isn’t about occasional free pizza or management tossing kudos from in front of the room. This is about investing in and building up employees…all of them, each one of them… helping them reach their maximum potential. Challenge yourself in this, and your management teams in this, all the way through the ranks.
  • Love well. Crowley “emphasizes the criticality of leaders having absolute certainty that the people they lead feel like they, and their work, matter deeply, and they are genuinely appreciated.” Not just the executive team feeling this way but a model is set throughout the organization to “love your people”.

If you read this far, you probably already lead in this way or you want to. I think of myself as being pretty savvy in this area, and that could be my biggest weakness in the workplace. Making such an assumption is dangerous. So…thanks for caring about your own leadership. For those reading thus far, and you don’t see yourself as a mover or shaker in your organization…rethink that. The fact that you are so invested that you’re reading leadership articles may mean you’re more engaged than you might think. You lead out in this area yourself, if you must. For that friend of mine who has never met his CEO…make it happen. You nor he will regret it. Light a fire that could potentially encourage a whole organization. For real.

Lead From the Heart – Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century by Mark C. Crowley

Employee Engagement Isn’t Getting Better and gallup Shares the Surprising Reasons Why – Mark C. Crowley

YouTube Video – How to Lead from the Heart – 4 Practices – Michael Hyatt Podcast

The Four Disciplines of the Heart – How to Fight Back When You Feel Discouraged – Michael Hyatt

What Is the Key to Great Leadership Today? – David Grossman

Heart-centered Leadership – Susan Steinbrecher – Slideshare

The Yellow Brick Road of Leadership – Jonathan Stutz – Slideshare

Manage by Mind, Lead by Heart – Usman Ahmad – Slideshare

Southwest Airlines – the Airlines with Heart – One Heart I Know Well

2015 April phone pics, American Idol, Spring flowers, Dad visit 390

[Disclaimer: This may seem like an ad for Southwest Airlines. It is not. It is a story of how marketing can actually reflect what is true – at least in my experience of this airline.]

I fly Southwest. Two free bags. Enough said.

Still, let me tell you about customer service like I’ve never received from any other airline. On their website, you can actually engage a screen that tells you which days are cheaper to fly. So much easier than re-typing alternate flight days on the booking page. Even after 20 years of frequent flying, I still stall out at check-in kiosks. The Southwest staff just seem to know right when to intervene and do it with graciousness.

Two free bags.

Open-seating is really a nice option. The check-in process at the gate is consummately fair. Onboard, the pilots and flight attendants act like real people (not like rigid, uniformed Ken and Barbie dolls). [Side-note: These folks in all airlines have very hard jobs and deal with all sorts of unpleasant people and situations. Still.] The Southwest personnel give all the FAA-required emergency information, but they do it in such an upbeat, people-friendly way that I actually listen.  Sometimes, they are even funny. Just such a nice touch to relax weary travelers. On most flights, we are offered a choice of pretzels OR peanuts with our beverage. We get to decide.

Two free bags.

The best side of Southwest Airlines after the getting us safely from Airport A to Airport B is their personalized customer service. There are lots of stories of grateful customers in their onboard magazine and on various websites. I want to tell my story here.

Trips back and forth from Richmond to Atlanta are a regular part of my life because my dad lives outside Atlanta. He has Alzheimer’s. Our visits are still very sweet, and so far, he still knows me. Although he doesn’t remember now how often I come, when I was there last, or what we do, I make those trips as often as possible. As much for me as for him, perhaps.

A few months back, I was sitting in Concourse C of the Atlanta Airport, waiting for my flight back to Richmond. The next time I would come to Georgia, Dad would be in a Memory Care Unit. This was on my mind, as I ate supper out of a box from The Varsity. Then someone spoke to me. That someone was a beautiful young woman named Candice Hewitt. She was a Southwest customer service representative on hospitality duty at my gate.Southwest heart with skin on - Candice Hewitt

We talked a long time, as if I was the only customer there. We talked about my dad. She listened…and listened…and listened. I knew she had other responsibilities and people to visit, so finally I “released” her. She reflected about how all kinds of people go through airports with happy destinations and sad. It’s not always vacation or weddings or successful business. She expressed that she was glad for our talk and that she would try to see me again at a gate visit during my travels.

We exchanged phone numbers. Believe it or not, Candice has been in touch regularly. Mostly we text. She checks in, just to say hello. I give her updates about Dad. We haven’t managed another gate visit, but that doesn’t really matter. When Southwest calls itself “the airline with heart”, Candice is who comes to mind. She is the heart of Southwest Airlines to me – the heart with skin on it.

I’ve flown a lot of airlines and had mostly positive experiences with them. Southwest’s culture intrigues me. I want to close with their purpose and culture statements (see below – from their website). The “Two Free Bags” policy is what drew me away from my previously preferred airlines. Many times, I don’t need to check bags. It’s then that Southwest’s Customer Service holds my loyalty. The elements of that service is communicated below, and the essence of it is pictured here, in Candice.Candice Hewitt

Southwest Purpose: Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel.*

Live the Southwest Way**

Warrior Spirit

  • Work Hard
  • Desire to be the best
  • Be courageous
  • Display urgency
  • Persevere
  • Innovate

Servant’s Heart

  • Follow The Golden Rule
  • Adhere to the Principles
  • Treat others with respect
  • Put others first
  • Be egalitarian
  • Demonstrate proactive Customer Service
  • Embrace the SWA Family

Fun-LUVing Attitude

  • Have FUN
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Maintain perspective
  • Celebrate successes
  • Enjoy your work
  • Be a passionate Teamplayer

Work the Southwest Way

  • Safety and Reliability
  • Friendly Customer Service
  • Low Cost

Southwest at sunset

*Southwest Airlines Culture

**Southwest Airlines Values

Southwest Airlines’ Legendary Corporate Culture | An Interview with Dave Ridley – Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University

Customers of Size Policy – so gentle and respectful of all – just an example of the consideration of this airlines to what could be awkward for some of their valued fliers.

On the Eve of a 25th Birthday – A Charge, a Quote, & a Rhyme

IMG (4)How can it be that you’re 25 years old tomorrow? I really don’t have the words…and you’re probably glad. Over the years, you have single-handedly taken me to my knees more often than you realize – praying to be the parent God would have me be for you; appealing to God for all the moves (overseas and stateside) to not be too hard for you; asking for comfort when situations were sometimes hard anyway; and thanking Him for all He did for you – the friendships, the opportunities, and His relationship with you from forever.

So many memories. “Let’s go kill buffalo!” Following your sister around for play ideas. Grandparent visits. Family vacations at the Chesapeake Bay. Carpool buddies. Gameboy. Drawing cartoons. Computer games. Getaways to the Red Sea. Dreamcast. Baptism back home in Tennessee. Roadtrips to the Sahara. Soccer. Cousins. Airports. Basketball. Grumpy when hungry – feed the boy. High School Rock Band. Great friendships. Game Nights. Sleep-Overs. PlayStation. Laughter. Working out. Classical Guitar. VCU. Aletheia Praise Band. Sharing a house with your brother, sister, and then Duy. Met and married beautiful Bekkah. Grad school at East Carolina. Now back to Virginia, working and making a home…grown.

Settled for now in the U.S. after so many stamps in your passport. Settled in our hearts forever. You make us laugh, and you make us think. Your grown-up heart is so worth the childhood/teen year battles. And your music…what a gift to us. Whether you’re on electric, acoustic, or classical guitar. Your music goes right to the heart. Thank you for honing the gift God gave you.

IMG_006818IMG_0047 (2)Feb 04 - Kids 042Feb Mar 04 0982006 February -- Rabat BBall Tourney turtles  bike 2972006 -- Dec -- Nathan, Jeremiah, Jared2009 December 0942011 May Dan's birthday & Nathan's graduation 11320110318-DSC_008320110413-DSC_0097-Edit-1 - Copy

As you round the bend on this first quarter-century, I leave you with God’s word to Joshua, Oswald Sanders’ word to leaders, and a poem often quoted by our friend Tom Elliff.

Happy birthday, Son. I’ll love you forever.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“When a person is really marked out for leadership, God will see that that person receives the necessary disciplines for effective service.” – J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man.
When God wants to mould a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall praise –
Watch His method, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only God understands
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends, but never breaks,
When his good He undertakes. . . .
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him,
By every art induces him
To try his splendor out –
God knows what He’s about.
– Anon.

Nathan Mills Guitar

J. Oswald Sanders’ Spiritual Leadership

Part of Joni Eareckson Tada’s Testimony – Poem Drill a Man

Book Favorite I’ll Love You Forever Before Helicopter Parenting Became a Cultural Issue

 

 

 

 

 

Worship Wednesday – Yearn with Shane & Shane

2014 June Odds & Ends 003a (2)

“…so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.” – Acts 17:27-28a

Yearn is a word that has too long been neglected. Owned by sonnet-writers and dreamers, this could well-describe God-worshippers. Last night, I rediscovered it during a lazy evening with friends. One is a Chinese student ravenous to master English vocabulary. We were looking in one of my textbooks and a list of feelings/emotions caught her attention. Many of the words were familiar to her from conversations with American friends, but one stood out unknown and, for us native English speakers, hard to describe: yearning.

As we were trying to describe it, her nearest friend in our group  pulled up a song on Youtube. It is “Yearn” by Shane & Shane.

Yearn

Verse 1 – Holy design; This place in time

That I might seek and find my God, my God

Chorus – Lord, I want to yearn for You; I want to burn with passion over You And only You

Lord, I want to yearn for You; I want to burn with passion over You; And only You Lord, I want to yearn

Verse 2 – Your joy is mine, yet why am I fine

With all my singing and bringing grain in light of Him

Bridge – Oh, You give life and breath; in You we live and move. That’s why I sing

Copyright © 2004 River Oaks Music Company/True Bliss Music/Waiting Room Music/BMI (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing)

When you go to bed at night, do you ever struggle to get your mind quiet enough to sleep? Do your longings push through such that until you pray them out you can’t sleep? That’s how last night was for me. I long to know God’s purpose for these days in my life…I long to be closer to my children…I long for some of my friends and family to know Jesus…I long for….so many things. And sleep finally comes.

This morning the ache of some of those same longings woke with me. Then in the quiet,  with my coffee and the Word, a yearning for God Himself settled those other longings in their proper place.

“Father, I cry out to You. Let me rest in Your arms, that the world might not press in so, disturbing the peace. You only are the One who completely satisfies – otherwise we lean toward wanting more and more of something less. God, bring me to a place where obeying and following You is all I want. My soul gets tormented by things that are undone or not yet – relationships that aren’t where I’d like them to be; responsibilities that seem beyond my abilities; God, draw me to Yourself. Help me to be where You want me to be, and then everything else will be, at least, ordered rightly. Father, I lay down these longings – these relationships; these responsibilities – and lift my face toward Yours, yearning only for You right now. I love You, Lord. Teach me to love You more. In Jesus. Amen.”

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.  – Deuteronomy 4:29

Story Behind Yearn

Shane & Shane Singing Yearn (Youtube)

Chords

How to Become a Follower of Jesus