The Wonders of Heart Leadership

Whether you are presently running an organisation or aspire for the same, one check-box you would want to tick in your expectation list is to have a better leader. You may reckon on your leaders to weigh sturdy operations in your absence. To desire a healthy inter-departmental relationship, tackling complex projects with unity and independently are no ideal theories.

It is undeniable that their role is essential for smooth operations flows into the system. So, what about the leadership role towards the employees?

An employees’ performance exceeds in quality terms when they are happy with the work culture. Leadership plays a vital role in improving the work culture. Without an inspiring, communicative and confident leadership, it imitates a missing piece in your success puzzle.

Leadership isn’t just about the capability of someone who manages all the specified qualities above. It is the quality that comes from within the heart. So, we can re-frame “leadership” as “heart leadership”.

“A leader must transition from being responsible for a job to being responsible for the people who are responsible for the job.”- Simon Sinek

Defining leadership from the heart

Heart leadership is the new pattern of leadership where the mindset has changed. It has led to a new approach to leadership. It is more humanistic. It is where the employees’ well-being is paramount. It reincarnates them into more successful leaders.

 Heart leadership is the quality of a leader, which persuades them towards a constructive mindset. It leads the employees with emotional engagement, appreciation and realism, phasing out negativity from within.

Heart leadership is based on: 

1. Empathetic leadership.

2. Active listening.

3. Compassion and Kindness. 

4. Leading by inspiring and examples.

5. Empathetic listening. 

“You are led by encouragement and inspiration, not by fear and control.”-Susan Steinbrecher.

Here are 3 wonders that heart leadership can do:

  • Bridging the communication gap

An employee performs best when they have their mind in sync with their heart. In traditional leadership, communication may seem to be one-sided.

Heart leadership bridges the communication gap by-

  • Giving deep commitment to intently listen to others.
  • Being non-judgemental.
  • Being unbiased or impartial.
  • Two-way communication.
  • Listening with patience to the root cause of the issue.
  • Looking from their perspective and understanding.
  • Avoiding impulse reaction and conclusion.
  • Compassion.
  • Nurturing creativity

The bossy attitude with down-lines or teams provokes internal disputes. They may hesitate to share any ideas. Thus, it suppresses true talent and creativity.

 For continual innovation, heart leadership nurtures the creativity by-

  • Heartedly motivating others.
  • Equal opportunities to all.
  • Aiding in execution.
  • Igniting curiosity.
  • Asking powerful questions.
  • Trust and time dedication.
  • Adopting game-sense influencing every member to participate.
  • Talent retention

Talented individuals are more likely to remain in their current organisation if they feel appreciated. Employees in unappreciated work culture are expected to change companies within 3 years. Employee retention is found to be 20 times better in companies that focus on quality leadership development.

Just hiring new potential won’t be enough. Any organisation would want a loyal talent, and these are the ones who often turn into better leaders. New hiring will bring along with it new talent, but it’ll consume your organisation’s appreciable period under training.

A heart-centred leader contributes to retaining the talent in the organisation by-

  • Appreciation.
  • Winning trust and loyalty towards their contribution.
  • Giving opportunity to share opinion.
  • Providing growth opportunity.
  • Setting free their willingness to learn and participate in interdepartmental activities.
  • Avoiding discrimination based on working grade level or position within the department.
  • 1:1 personal engagement.


Every organisation envisions success but they often fail to recognise what can drive them to achieve their goal. An organisation focusing on leadership quality sees cumulative progress, improved bottom-line performance and overall improved work culture.

Heart leadership is the modern art of leadership that fills in multiple gaps in the organisation by prioritizing employees’ well-being. 

Today, many business schools have considered the importance of integrating heart leadership quality into future leaders. It is being taught at Stanford and being applied to all the big names in the world.

The thoughts and expressions purely belong to the author and are based on close to two decades of leading change though people.

Naheed Khan is a renowned Master Practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) and Transformation Mindset expert, based in the UAE. An ex- consultant to the Government of India and a transformational leader with 17+ years of experience as a Change Catalyst, Naheed Khan has been supporting business leaders and organisations with success strategies by optimizing their most significant asset “the human mind”. She is widely acclaimed as a transformational business and leadership consultant, who believes in bringing out a paradigm shift in the mindset, leading to internal positive change. Tapping into the power of the mind, she develops personal leadership and creates the roadmap for professional excellence. Naheed Khan has extensively worked with corporates and leaders spanning 9 countries and has successfully designed programs to cater to the specific goals of the clients. She has helped executives align their mindset, expectations and performance to stand unto the challenge of becoming Future Leaders. Her transformational initiatives has led her organization “Futurwits” to be awarded the prestigious “Best Professional Coaching and Development company- Middle East” award in 2020, and the “Transformational Expert in Learning and Development – Middle East” 2021.