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Opinion

Leadership is a matter of the heart

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

Time and again we hear people ask the question, “What makes a good leader?” Nowadays it seems to be a rather hot topic, considering that elections are coming up in less than a year. But more than knowing the “what” behind a good leader, we must also be able to distinguish between leaders who lead with skill and leaders who lead also with heart.

Every leader is different and leadership character is foundational. While skills are important, such skills and the corresponding results are considered discounted if you do not possess leadership character. The heart of leadership is serving others first before yourself because it is all about what’s in your heart. Such leaders are servant leaders who always ask – “How can I serve this person well?”

Believing we can make a difference is another trait of a leader who leads with the heart and their optimism in making this world a better place is part of their overall vision as they work hard in making a better version of what we have today. In life we are called to take courage and the Bible tells us so 365 days of the year. Everyday we are called to respond to many different situations and our responses are also our defining moments. It has been said that your missed opportunities are often no big deal in isolation, however, they are cumulative.

Lifelong learning is also a matter of the heart. Good leadership with heart is based on a genuine hunger for wisdom and understanding that we too are here to continuously learn. An open mind bridges relationships with new ideas as well as builds on a network of good counsel.

Last but not least, a leader with heart leads with empathy and accountability, as our actions affect not just ourselves but others who have committed to abiding to our leadership. A leader that leads with the heart understands that who we are becoming everyday is important and the whole notion of “fake it till you make it” never works. John Maxwell says: “Why you lead and the way you lead are important. They define you, your leadership and, ultimately, your contribution.” A leader that leads with the heart is a leader that the people will want to follow and at the same time, the question leaders must ask themselves is, “Do people want to follow me?” The answer all depends on the way you serve.

There is so much to talk about when it comes to leadership but in my opinion, the most basic thing that needs to be communicated about any leader is the capability to serve not only with skills but with heart, and such service comes with a tremendous amount of humility. As we venture into the nearness of election season and I honestly believe that it has come extra early, let us also ponder about the heart of our future leaders because we will know it from how they show it. Actions are always louder than words and many people will attribute their choices to a genuine experience that not only reflects skill but, more importantly, character and certainly, it matters.

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