The Role of Heart in Business

iStock_000011763101Small-cropped-1There’s a little debate it seems about the role of the heart in business. Some say the only way to succeed in business is to follow your heart; others will tell you that is the fastest road to ruin.

Michael Gerber, a legend in the world of entrepreneurial business, makes no bones about his opinions in an Inc. magazine article. He says, “To run a successful business, you must have more than a personal dream. In fact, you must have an impersonal one. What do I mean when I say an ‘impersonal dream?’ I mean just that–it is anything but personal. It is not about you and it is not about me. It is about the act of creativity; that “sudden seeing” of a possibility we have never seen before.”

I’m not so sure I can take such a removed look at how I spend my life toiling away; and perhaps that’s why I toil away each day, instead of sitting somewhere on a beach sipping margaritas and counting my millions.

I believe there is a role for heart in everything we do. That passion — the fire that burns in our belly — is the reason we get up each day and hit the floor with a fervor for winning and succeeding. Too many people lose that vision of what they set out to accomplish and with it goes the heart, the passion and, most often, their chances for true success. Maintaining focus on what really important is something none of us can ever afford to lose sight of as we set out to fulfill our life’s work. And make no bones about it:  it is life-work for a reason. The order is set for a specific purpose:

You should never forget that it is about how your career fits into your life and not how your life fits into your career.

For me, there is no question about the role of heart in business:  it is a critical element required to win. Show up without it and you will fail yourself, your employees and your customers. You have to be crystal-clear about who you are, what you stand for and follow that passion with a relentless tenacity. With heart in your main sail, you will find the momentum and drive to withstand any storm the world of business will send your way.

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” — Thomas John Watson Sr.

If you want to read an amazing book on the topic, check out Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business by Rasheed Ogunlaru.  He outlines a very straight-forward approach for those of us looking to run our businesses the way we run our lives: with sound ethics, consciously and collaboratively. Seven heart-centered principles that will guide a new generation of leaders to succeed.

Follow your heart, use your head and success will follow.  Go live an outrageous life, and don’t be afraid to lead with your heart!

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