In today’s world, more than ever before, there is a need for a better leadership model in our organisations than that of the traditional hierarchy. Most organisations today still operate with traditional leadership model at play. If we imagine a pyramid, the shareholders are at the top, followed by the CEO, the Executive team, the Management team and then, the employees at the bottom. A traditional hierarchy where everyone is serving the agenda of those above them and, ultimately, those at the top of the pyramid.
Heart Centred Leadership turns that pyramid upside down and we now have a model whereby leaders serve their people.
They are curious about and genuinely interested in how they can help their employees to win.
A Heart Centred Leader is interested and passionate about growing and developing their employees, making sure they have the tools to do their job well and empowering them to be creative and innovative, ensuring that they can, in turn, be a heart centred leader and help those that they serve, your customers, to win.
As a Heart Centred Leader, you work for your people, who work for their people, who eventually work for your customer. You are making your people responsible, that is, able to respond and when you do that, your customer does not hear “that’s not our policy” or “that’s not my job” or “I’ll get my supervisor”. Your customer hears “No Problem” or “I can help you with that” or “I’ll sort that out for you”.
Simon Sinek talks in his book ‘Leaders Eat Last’ about giving those closest to the information more authority in organisations. Why is this? Well, those closest to our customers, our employees, should be empowered to turn those customers into what Ken Blanchard, thought leader on the subject of ‘Servant Leadership’, refers to as ‘raving fans’.
Employees knowing that they have the authority to go the extra mile and find a solution in the moment to serve the customer is what sets your service apart from your competitors and this is what creates loyal customers.
Some years ago, I had bought my first home and was in the market for some new domestic appliances. A salesperson’s dream, I needed everything as a first-time buyer.
It was before you could check prices easily on your phone of course and I had shopped around and settled on my appliances of choice and was price comparing between stores.
I was approached in each of the three stores I went to by a smiling salesperson, pointing out the appliances that suited my needs but I returned to the first store. Why? The person I dealt with there, told me that even if I found what I was looking for elsewhere for cheaper, to come back to him and not only would he match the price but he would throw in a kettle and a toaster for free too. Needless to say, I returned and over the years that store has always been my first port of call anytime I need domestic appliances.
Looking back now, I realise that salesperson was empowered by his organisation to make me that offer and, as a result, I am one of Mr Blanchard’s ‘raving fans’ for that organisation to this day.
Heart Centred Leadership is not about you, it’s about your people and helping them win. It’s all about you helping your people win. And when they win, your customers win, you win and your organisation wins.