We live in a world full of isolation and separation. It is a world where people build walls of protection around themselves. These walls can take many different forms; arrogance, fear, aggression and disengagement to name a few. We just need to look around us at the survival of the richest, loudest, powerful or most devious to see the effects that isolation and empire-building has on humanity.
The concept of Leading from the Heart requires us to move from a space of isolation to interconnectedness. It is a movement from Te Pō (darkness) to Te Āo Mārama (the light). Leading from the Heart requires us to understand each of the elements within the diagram below: our own self, another person, us together, and all of us as a community. Simply put: You + Me = We.
So what might this mean for your roles as Leaders of Learning? First it requires you to get clear on your values, beliefs and assumptions. This means shedding the layers of inauthenticity, masks and expectations of others or ourselves to really understand our drivers, strengths and needs. Once you are clear on your own values, beliefs and assumptions ensure you lead in a manner that is the most genuine, consistent, authentic expression of yourself.
Next enable this realisation in others. Listen first, then question deeply with genuine inquisitiveness. In the realms of Multiple Braining theories, the heart brain is the space from which values and beliefs are derived. It is the place from which deep connections can be made. By connecting with each other’s values and beliefs we are able to understand their passions, motivations, fears and needs. When we take the time to talk; to really talk with someone, we begin to open a window into their world… To walk a mile in their shoes.
It is from this understanding that we gain an insight into how we might operate as a unit or team. Like a dance, where we each have our own movements, yet are connected, we begin to see how our combined strengths can create a new level of community and collective movement. Change is accelerated, people feel valued and communication is authentic.
The image below was taken at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It symbolises our need for continual growth and connection with self and others. As we unveil and unravel not only our own selves, but assist others to do so, we open many more possibilities for authentic heart-based leadership.