CEO Today - Executive Coaching Awards 2022

CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - 88 - - USA - To you, what does it mean to ‘lead with heart’? To many, leading with heart means leading with empathy or compassion. When we talk about leading with heart, we are talking about leaders who consistently demonstrate five specific characteristics or tenets that, when combined, can be powerfully successful at leading others. These are: purpose, empathy, understanding, engagement and humility. What is your response to those who say that this approach encourages underperformance? What leads to underperformance is treating your employees like human doers rather than human beings. Remember, people join companies but leave managers. Being a heart-based leader is not contrary to holding others accountable. If an employee is underperforming, heart-based leaders first check in with that employee, then work with them to ensure they can meet expectations. Your brain helps you make decisions based on what is best for the organisation; your heart guides you on how best to carry out those decisions. Why is leading with heart important? When my firm was incorporated in 1996, I would have had the door shut on me if my opening pitch was that I could help leaders and their organisations become more heart-based. Today, people are coming out of the woodwork to figure out how to do this. The reason? Because companies have become more matrixed, global, complex, diverse and technologically advanced. The ‘command and control’ type of leadership is unsustainable except during a crisis (such as in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). Leaders must motivate others through influence, not the power of their position. Leaders who have not figured out how to drive results using a heartbased approach are failing and their organisations are suffering as a result. Can you really teach leaders to become more heart-based in a sustainable way? Yes! We do this by first creating awareness, but doing so with compassion. Anybody can deliver the hard truth of 360-degree feedback or the results of a personality assessment, but doing so with compassion and understanding creates a safe space for the leader to hear the feedback. We then use various tools and strategies to help them think, speak and act differently. I not only hear expressions of gratitude from clients, their managers and human resources, but I have literally had spouses thank me for the changes they have seen! In what ways have you seen your own practice as an executive coach develop as you assist your clients? I started my career as a psychologist in the mid-1990s. In 1995, I discovered my passion – bringing emotional intelligence into the workplace. Over the years, I have coached all kinds of organisations across industries and have personally grown along the way, meeting all types of incredible leaders. In the last decade, the need for EQ has grown exponentially, and yet leaders have less time to invest in themselves. Twenty-five years ago, I would proudly tell others, “I have gotten CEOs to meditate.” Today, this is not enough… not to mention they are already doing it. Today, I would say that I have been able to help leaders by cutting through the BS, telling leaders what others will not or are simply too scared to say. But of course, I do it with love!! And I bring with it tools to help them create sustainable change. Dr. Jeff Kaplan, President & CEO, Leading with Heart, 400 Brown St, Philadelphia, PA 19123-2106. T: 610.279.4805 | M: 267-278.1486 To learn more about Leading with Heart, go to:

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