Leading From the Head Vs. the Heart

While leading in today’s workplace it can be overwhelming to determine which leadership style to employ with your team. Weekly, another book is published that has figured out the next path to great leadership.

The purpose of this article is to discuss first hand what I believe true leadership is based on my time leading others. I have experience in leading from the head and then from the heart.

Leadership defined- “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.” Dictionary.com

When we boil things down to its core there are two types of leaders. Those that lead from the head and those those that lead from the heart. The heart is where authentic leadership lives and it has the ability to create a team synergy that will move mountains because the goal and connection becomes bigger than an arbitrary sales number.

In previous management roles, I have had times where I led from the head. The results where subpar and the connection was all business. A quick way to check if you are leading from the head is to observe how often your team is seeking you out. If you find that you are chasing them down the answer is clear.

What I learned over time was it was not how I led others, it is how I lead myself. When I am leading self others will follow because it has morphed into authentic leadership. This opens the door for execution and building a team with similar characteristics. “Bottom Line: Lack of Personal Commitment. When the right people are not in the right jobs, the problem is visible and transparent. Leaders know intuitively that they have a problem and will often readily acknowledge it. But an alarming number don’t do anything to fix the problem.” (Bossidy & Charan, p. 118.)

This statement is one I can relate to both personally and professionally. EVERYONE has problems, but do we want to face them. If we cannot face our personal problems head on how will we ever face our professional problems. This creates what I call the GREY ZONE. It is a state of being that simply passes time with no real personal or professional results to speak of.

In closing, the next time you look for a leader ask yourself two questions:

  1. How good is this person at getting things done come hell or high water?
  2. How well do they lead themselves from the heart?

If you can find these qualities the sky is the limit for you and your team.


Bossidy, Larry & Charan, Ram. Execution. The Discipline of Getting Things Done. 2009. p. 118.

Author: yeeevolve

Evolve...your DAILY DOSE of what it takes to survive and thrive on planet earth! Yee...think of it like your morning meditation.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.