November 5, 2018

Below is a lesson from Mark Crowley on LinkedIn on why heart matters most in leadership, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Why A World-Class Brain Surgeon Believes The Heart Matters Most In Leadership

By Mark Crowley

As could only happen in today’s connected world, a man named Sunil from India recently tweeted me in San Diego to say that I needed to reach out and meet a man in Palo Alto. Sunil had just finished reading a book written by a Stanford University medical school professor, Dr. James Doty, and instantly thought of me. “You two guys believe the exact same thing about leadership,” Sunil very thoughtfully tweeted me from 9,000 miles away. Perhaps because Sunil is Indian, or because I’ve been the beneficiary of many synchronicities throughout my life, I saw his tweet as a sign from the universe. I immediately went and read Doty’s book.

As Sunil surmised, Dr. Doty and I do indeed share a core belief. “The best way of influencing human beings to excel in their jobs is to intentionally and positively affect their hearts.”

Now, because this understanding isn’t commonly accepted in most workplaces, I initially assumed that Sunil wanted me to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking. But it turned out what excited Sunil far more on my behalf was that Dr. Doty is a world-class brain surgeon who just happens to believe the heart plays the greatest role in motivating human behavior.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • The heart is a source of higher intelligence and guidance
  • Western science’s understanding of the heart has not only changed, but emerging research serves to confirm what ancient wisdom expressed long ago.
  • Dr. Doty: “most people have no idea that the heart has anything to do with influencing human choices, decisions and motivations.”
  • The heart and mind work together in a unified intelligence
  • The heart sending more signals to the brain than the other way around.
  • “Bi-directional highway” — runs beneath the level of human consciousness and has a huge impact on how we function, how we respond and even see the world.
  • Science confirms that feelings and emotions really do drive most human behavior.
  • Institute of HeartMath: the heart routinely informs the brain of the body’s emotional state, and the outcome has a profound impact on brain functioning and decision-making.
  • “When human beings experience a steady flow of positive feelings and emotions (e.g. appreciation, inspiration and happiness),” HeartMath’s Director of Research, Rollin McCraty, Ph.D said, “the heart flips into what’s called ‘coherence.’ And when people feel appreciated by their bosses, supported, healthily connected to the people they work with, growing, loved and able to live meaningful lives, this inherently creates coherence. All boiled down, it means the communication going on between the heart and mind is so ideal that it puts people into their optimal level of performance.”
  • “When people feel a lack of kindness or respect – or insufficient appreciation from their bosses and companies – they unconsciously retreat into a disabling fear response.” But when leaders become intentional in building trust, respecting people’s dignity and making people feel cared for rather than threatened, both Doty and McCraty agree, this is when human beings instinctively put their hearts into their work and engage at much higher levels.
  • “All leaders must know that the heart can have more influence on your success than your brain.”
  • The lesson from science is that leadership that affects hearts draws out human greatness.

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