Heartstyles blog

How do you connect your leadership with your life and the lives of your people?

The songwriter Bronnie Ware worked for a while in palliative care helping the terminally ill, and compiled a list of common regrets expressed by the people she cared for.  Her list gained huge popularity. How might this apply to, leadership?

Here are the five insights:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express myself

  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

There are a few ways these apply to any leader, to their own mental state and demeanour. Put into positives, be yourself, get the work-life balance right, find your own voice, stay in touch with friends, and keep things in perspective. These edicts alone would be a good way of living, but as a leader, you must be prepared to convey those values into your team, and to, create the conditions in which your people can also follow these guidelines.

Encourage your people to be themselves. This means proper delegation, and this depends on high levels of emotional intelligence and soft skills, getting to know your people and matching up the task to the person.  Get this right, and motivation takes care of itself. 

Enable your people to have the right work-life balance. This depends on listening to them, and on understanding the impact that your work environment has on them. Seek out opportunities for your people to show their life beyond work, encourage them to devote some work time to charities they care about, and make sure they have the time and space to network with others in different sectors.

Authenticity and relating with others are all important traits and that Heartstyles call ‘Above the Line’ behaviours. Shifting our behaviours – and practicing them too, takes initial effort but saves energy in the long run. Imagine living a life that lacks courage, being real and relating to each other? What kind of life would that be?

Ready to start your own Heartstyles journey? Contact us.