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Hiebing Book Club: Leading With Heart

January 31, 2023by Hiebing

At our latest agency book club, we discussed “Leading With Heart” by John Baird & Edward Sullivan. This book poses five important conversations leaders need to have to bring out the best in themselves and the people they lead. If time for reading is on your side, consider picking up a copy here. If not, here are three key takeaways from our team.

Lead With Heart
It’s not easy, but it is powerful. A person who leads with heart asks the right questions to forge authentic connections at a human level with their teams. Sometimes these conversations are hard to have, but doing so can create an environment that champions safety and connection versus fear and isolation. These conversations include asking:

  • What do you need to be at your best?
  • What fears are holding you back?
  • What desires drive you, and which might derail you?
  • What are your greatest gifts?
  • What is your purpose?

Leading with heart fosters a workplace that encourages vulnerability in a space that is psychologically safe – or, more simply put, allows employees to feel comfortable being and expressing themselves. This has been proven to drive quick innovation, unlock the benefits of diversity and champion an organization’s flexibility to adapt well to change.

Harness Fear for Good
“To combat fear you can either react or get curious.” John and Edward spent a lot of time uncovering leaders’ underlying fears and how those were impacting, and at times derailing, their teams’ success. By having tough conversations, leaders were able to identify the source of their fear and could then harness it for the betterment of themselves and the organization. Fear can be an ally if leaders name it and choose different behaviors that create the right balance to motivate themselves and others.

Authenticity Brings Out the Best
As a leader, bringing your most authentic self is paramount. Owning the natural gifts you have to offer, as well as acknowledging your fears, can help deconstruct the work/life myth – that we need to keep our work-self and life-self separate. You may find that creating an environment for your team that allows them to show up as all that they are not only drives performance, but a culture of inspiration, connection and purpose.

Curious about infusing leading with heart into your brand purpose? Email Nate Tredinnick at to set up a call.

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