- September 2, 2023
- Mark Miller
In my book, Chess Not Checkers, I wrote about the most misunderstood and overlooked facet of creating a High Performance Organization: Win the Heart. Leaders mistakenly believe the “soft stuff” will derail their efforts to achieve the organization’s goals – nothing could be further from the truth!…
In my book, Chess Not Checkers, I wrote about the most misunderstood and overlooked facet of creating a High Performance Organization: Win the Heart. Leaders mistakenly believe the “soft stuff” will derail their efforts to achieve the organization’s goals – nothing could be further from the truth!
It is only a fully-engaged workforce that allows an organization to begin to approach its full potential. The path to superior, sustained performance always goes through the heart of every employee (or volunteer, if you are leading a non-profit).
In High Performance Organizations, leaders consistently capture the hearts of team members, leading to greater engagement and deeper fulfillment. In such an environment, outstanding results become much easier to achieve.
One of the best ways to Win the Heart is to encourage people to be themselves. Every person in your organization has unique strengths, talents, interests, capabilities, personalities, and experiences. The more those differences are leveraged, the greater the impact your organization can make.
Unless you can Win the Hearts of your people, there will eventually be a lack of engagement, and in the end you will never reach your potential. We have all witnessed scores of talented groups who never accomplish anything great.
In his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, corporate poet David Whyte tells of a conversation he had while seeking guidance from a counselor. The counselor made the following statement: “The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest.” Whyte inquired, “What is it then?” The counselor replied,
“The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”
He went on to explain how one grows weary because he or she fails to be fully engaged in life.
As you think about your organization, would you describe your employees as fully engaged, or are they halfheartedly going through the motions? Do you sense there is fatigue coupled with a malaise about the mission? If so, the answer is to Win their Hearts.
In addition to encouraging people to be themselves, great leaders seek to win hearts as they Build Community. They recognize people want to be part of a group that genuinely cares for one another. Secondly, they Share Ownership, understanding people desire real responsibility and an opportunity to contribute. Finally, these leaders Foster Dreams. They know people have aspirations both inside and outside of work and are genuinely interested in helping make those dreams come true.
Never underestimate the power of a group of united hearts. Throughout history, they have won championships, built companies, and even conquered nations. Is it possible greater things could happen in your world? Why not go after the hearts of your people and find out.
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Mark Miller is a Wall Street Journal and international best-selling author, communicator, and the former Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. Mark’s leadership journey at Chick-fil-A spanned 45 years, and today, he serves as the Co-Founder of Lead Every Day. Mark began writing almost twenty years ago, and with over one million books in print in more than twenty-five languages, his global impact continues to grow.