Successful Leadership Embraces Heart and Soul

What’s missing from many businesses and organizations today is “heart and soul.”

Would you like it if people called you and your organization heartless or soulless? Of course not! However, if you don’t intentionally include heart and soul as foundational principles—vital to your success—you are committing the “sin of omission” (or failure to perform an action).

Who cares if people have it “together” mentally and physically, if there’s no heart and soul?

Most people would agree that employees who are fully engaged and Living On Purpose have far more potential to contribute than those who are not. Why, then, are they not acting on that challenge?

Here are some reasons people don’t lead with heart and soul, personally and professionally:

  • Fear of the unknown and the potential outcome. Because so few organizations function at the “heart and soul” level, it can appear an overwhelming task or project. They could worry, What if this approach goes sideways and reduces results? They are usually driven by a lack of confidence or competence.
  • A sign of weakness. I have had professionals actually say this to me. But the book Good to Great (Jim Collins, 2001) makes it clear that great leaders care about their people and demonstrate humility in the process. Operating with heart and soul actually displays confidence and strength in your convictions, not weakness.
  • An invalid approach to the team. This is a false assumption. Many individuals and teams are erroneously labeled as not interested, when they have never been given the chance to engage work and others in this manner.
  • Lack of necessary skills, effort, and knowledge. Many leaders simply do not have what it takes to operate at this level. How can people lead others with heart and soul if those two principles have never been modeled for them, or if they have not shown those qualities before?

The truth is, that given the right environment and culture, most individuals want to contribute and communicate at the “heart and soul” level. But they simply have not been given the chance, or have not been part of a supportive culture that personally or organizationally embraces it.

As a leader, ask yourself:

  • Are you and your organization leading with heart and soul?
  • If we at CRG surveyed your staff, what would they say?
  • If the answer is No, why not?
  • What do you think is holding you back from creating a respectful environment that embraces fully engaged individuals?

Admittedly, to be able to lead others with heart and soul, you first must set a good example. Credibility will come from what you are doing—not merely from what you are saying.

To lead from the heart requires that you and others are connected to your respective purpose.

  1. The first section lists 12 core principles that Transformational Leaders agree with, and live by. If you or your leadership team are not in agreement with these principles, we recommend you abandon any leadership training or development for now. You simply are not ready to lead with heart and soul.
  2. Further, leaders who embrace this powerful philosophy know themselves very well and are secure in who they are. They don’t worry about other leaders who might be “better” than they are.

Until next time, Keep Living on Purpose,

Ken Keis, Ph.D.
CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc.

Author Bio

Ken Keis, Ph.D., President of CRG, is a global expert on leadership, wellness, behavioral assessments, and life purpose. In 28 years, he has conducted over 3000 presentations and invested 10,000+ hours in consulting and coaching. Ken Keis is considered a foremost global authority on the way assessment strategies and processes increase and multiply success rates. He co-created CRG’s proprietary development models and has written over 4 million words of content for 40 business training programs and 400+ articles. His latest book, The Quest For Purpose: A Self-Discovery Process To Find It And Live It!,is available at

Posted in Wellness.