In the fast-paced world of business, it’s easy to lose sight of your most valuable principles. Even the best of leaders get overwhelmed with progress happening at what seems like the speed of light.
As I visit with leaders at all levels, I find a need to return to a couple of very basic ideas. For me, the greatest truth I find is the notion of “harnessing the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection.” The repetitive urgency of this message has me re-posting it annually. Perhaps I should do it even more often.
It’s All Around Us
For quite some time, I have been a student of management and leadership. The topic is not limited to just the business world. Rather it is all around us. I believe our world is in serious need of solid, meaningful leadership. I don’t mean the kind that wears red or blue, but the kind that truly inspires us to do more and be more.
Yet the “more” is not only about corporate growth. I mean ‘more’ in terms of life; seeing those around us thrive and prosper intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually as well as financially. A real leader can help do that. It doesn’t matter whether the leadership role is formally appointed as in head of some community group, or informally ordained for a bunch of well-meaning volunteers.
Leadership can raise the bar of success regardless of the domain it influences.
We need leaders in all sectors of life. Yet what distinguishes some leaders from others? From my observations both being a leader and working for great leaders, I find one common bond. The best leader has found a way to harness the power of harnessing your mind’s attention with your heart’s affection. This is a phrase my Pastor taught me a few years ago. It sums up so much. But what does it mean? And how does it apply to make you a better leader, right where you are?
The Mind’s Attention
Much has been written about the power of positive thinking. For decades we have heard about “you are what you think”. No doubt a positive mental state adds much to one’s ability to focus and thrive. Likewise, a bad frame of mind can draw you down into a deep depression and even suicide.
Don’t get me wrong. I am an advocate for working on positive thinking, eliminating limiting thoughts, and building your mind muscle for more positive thinking. A wise old farmer called it “getting rid of stinkin’ thinkin’.” The Bible calls it renewing your mind. I’m all in favor of that.
As much as having a great attitude about your outlook and the daily regiment is powerful, it can only go so far. Someone once said, “If thinking the right thoughts is all there is to the final outcome, we’d all be brains on a stick.”
No, the best outcome takes more. Your mental ability to reason and apply teachings from the past builds knowledge and wisdom. Putting your brain in gear to run at its optimum capacity is a force all by itself. Yet recurring demand on the mind without a passion for what you are doing ultimately leads to burn-out.
The Heart’s Affection
Our heart must be engaged. Our passion must be summoned to give fuel to the fire. It is the fire. When a person becomes passionate about their cause, there is little anyone can do to deter them.
Passion gives us the energy to climb mountains, cross great divides, and leap tall buildings (ok yes that sounds like Superman). This heart’s affection for a purpose gives almost unstoppable energy to any situation.
Workers who have not had their passion for the job tapped into will only perform at a modest level. This is why making employment selection is so critical for employers and employees alike. Make the wrong fit, and your passion will never rise up. Yet by finding work where you can become passionate, you can inspire others.
Passion alone though will not sustain your effort. You must have the power of your mind to process the steps and actions necessary to thrive.
Harness the Power
Binding both parts together can achieve great things. Great minds don’t go very far without a heart filled passion. Conversely, passion can be wasted without a clever mind to design a solution.
The best leaders know how to do both. They are driven by a sense of purpose which fuels the passion. Their heart’s affection is a dominating force. In conjunction, they have their mind’s attention fully engaged, finding solutions to problems and devising great alternatives to the hurdles that come up.
Leaders leverage this power, catching lightning in a bottle so to speak. You can hear and almost feel the power of the passion in their voice. There is an overwhelming understanding for the wisdom in their mind’s vision for things to come. You can more easily buy-in to their ideas and direction.
Leaders build this kind of inspiration in their team.
Here’s the Test
If you are in a management or leadership role, do you have both parts engaged and fully deployed? Is your mind flowing with ideas for ways to go to the next level, solving the problems of the day and offering great ideas? Is your heart in it? Do you feel passionate about your cause, your purpose where you are?
One without the other is a broken, unbalanced equation. You might find temporary success, but it will not last. Usually, it will not be enough to get to the next level.
Make an evaluation of this amazing blend of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection. If you have been operating too heavily with one and not the other, look around. You might be missing some achievement. You are likely not to be your best.
Take a moment to think about what it would be like to harness this power, with both spheres in better balance, overlapping at the center for amazing results.
PS – I like this reminder so much, I even had it put on a coffee mug. Leave a comment if you’d like one. $10 plus S&H. To order yours, click here