Humans are first and foremost full of heart. We are more than our bodies and personalities. More than our family of origin. More than our opinions and beliefs. We are creatures of habit who love and relate and sometimes show a staggering sense of courage.
This means that we are predictable yet defy rote categorization.
We are set in our ways and worldviews, yet crises often reshape us––often for the better.
We are task oriented, full of projects, and annoying traits; and we all wrestle with underpinning desires.
In leadership therefore we must always remember that humans cannot be diminished into tools. Humans have no operation system. No code. No batteries. They have hearts.
And leaders must treat humans as if they have hearts.
- While personality tools help us respect propensities, if you treat an individual human as a type, you’ve already objectified them. Get to know your people’s propensities, but also expect them to surprise you.
- Before you reprimand someone for failing a task, ask: what’s happening in their heart.
- In fact, when it comes to any creature with a heart–if they can speak–it’s always good to enter conflict with questions. “Tell me; what happened there?”
- We must learn to see human failures as opportunities for formation: sometimes people need to be formed in the fires of losing their job; much of the time though people need the chance to grow and learn.
- If projects are more important than your people and their growth, you only help a dying world keep dying—at best.
- If you cannot revere a person who works for you, you cannot hope to lead them well.
- Revering means seeing through unlovely attributes, annoying traits and into the hidden nobility of a person.
- Hidden nobility blooms in small interests, important symbols, and things that make people smile.
- If your follower recognizes that you see their hidden nobility, you are 9/10ths of the way to gaining loyalty and trust.
Other thoughts? What are the implications of leading creatures with a heart?