Is Your Business Heart or Head?
When I was first asked if my business was heart or head focused, I had never heard of it before. I have been asked lots of out of the box questions about my business previously, but this was the first time body parts were referenced. (Haha!) As I dug deeper into the question, I realized it was more about one’s intentions vs. actual body parts. Just like most of you, I want to live a meaningful life that is purpose driven. By being able to create and manage my own business, I have the opportunity to respect all people and the environment along the way.
As University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor and former trustee at Conscious Capitalism, Inc., R. Edward Freeman put it, “We need red blood cells to live (the same way a business needs profits to live), but the purpose of life is more than to make red blood cells (the same way the purpose of business is more than simply to generate profits).”
What does it mean to lead with your heart? You find that …
- You consistently show positive characteristics such as empathy, cooperation, and compassion.
- You often respond by using your intuition. (And sometimes also your gut.)
- You are happy regardless of the outcome of your actions.
For your head, you will find that …
- You always work according to your plans.
- You constantly worry about other people’s opinions.
- You always are focused on getting things done.
I honestly believe because of this, there needs to be a balance of the two. In fact, one could argue that you could use logical thinking and a strong heart to create that balance. There are some cases where your head and heart may debate, but then sometimes that logic may not be the right approach. (Hence why you should also follow your heart!) As a small business owner, you receive the opportunity to create your own balanced business. You get to control how the ship runs and where it goes with the decisions you make along the way. As Will Marre posted in Real Leaders, “Be unafraid and relentless in the advocacy for a better business, healthier and happier employees, enriched customers and a sustainable future in order to create profitable growth.”
So, if you are wanting to make a shift to add a bit more heart into your business, know that you need to work on being more empathetic. And by looking at your business from your customer’s point of view, it helps you embrace the core values and goals you have set to help your customers thrive. On the flip side, if you are looking to add more head to your business, start by developing your vision and goals. From there, you can break it down into a plan that you can get your heart behind.
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