By Jenni Catron
Leading from Heart, Soul, Mind & Strength
What is leadership? The term could benefit from a redefinition, couldn’t it? The subject of leadership evokes angst, opposition, elitism, skepticism, fear and favor. People who aren’t leaders often claim to be. Strong leaders often run from accepting leadership. Those afraid of authority revolt against those in leadership positions.
I understand the tension.
I believe that at its core, the word leadership is an observation of greatness. Leadership is rarely observable in the moment, but it is recognizable in outcomes. In the book Greatness, Steven F. Hayward says, “Typically we only recognize greatness in hindsight.”2 Additionally, he writes, “Greatness is not purely circumstantial. Greatness is ultimately a question of character. Good character does not change with the times: it has eternal qualities.” That thought resonates with the spirit of leading from our heart, soul, mind, and strength, doesn’t it? Great leadership is an action; it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle of leading from our whole selves—heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these dimensions:
Heart (Relational Leadership)
The heart of a leader is the truest part of who he or she is. Your heart is the center of your emotions, desires, and wishes. Your heart is what most connects you with others. “Love God. Love others” begins here in the heart. It’s the relational dimension of leadership. Leading from the heart is about earning influence through relationships rather than authority. It’s developing the art of emotional intelligence. When we lead from the heart, we see others as living, breathing humans with stories, emotions, families, strengths and weaknesses, and tragedies and joys. And when we see those we lead as human, we seek to relate with them through our God-given power to understand one another through emotional connection.
Soul (Spiritual Leadership)
The soul is the part of us that longs to know God. It’s the epicenter of morality, integrity, humility, and servanthood. It is the spiritual component of our leadership and gives us the sensitivity to engage in the conversations that help lead people closer to God. It is the distinction that sets you apart as a faith-based leader.
Mind (Strategic Leadership)
The mind is the seat of intellectual activity. It is what enables us to deliberate, to process, to reflect, to ponder, and to remember. The mind enables us to strategize and to make plans. It is where we find clarity and where God imparts wisdom. The mind could also be viewed as the managerial component of leadership. Management is the method by which great leadership is executed. The mind enables us to take a leader’s instincts and inspiration and put them into action. Leading with our minds allows us to make wise decisions about stewarding all the resources that God has entrusted to us. Management is the stewardship engine that drives leadership.
Strength (Visionary Leadership)
As leaders, we provide strength for our teams when we understand the power of vision. Those you lead must know that you deeply believe in where you’re leading them and why. Winston Churchill’s “keep calm and carry on” mantra provided consistent visionary leadership that enabled Britain to persevere against the Nazis in World War II. Visionary leadership means keeping hope and possibility in front of yourself and those you lead. It’s recognizing that your job as a leader is chief vision caster every day.
How do you naturally lead? Are you more relational, spiritual, strategic or visionary? Click below to take a an assessment that will help you diagnose where you are naturally strong as a leader as well as help you define the areas that will enable you to grow into the extraordinary leader you desire to be.
Note: Extraordinary Leader assessment: https://www.onlineassessmenttool.com/extraordinary-leadership-assessment/assessment-32462
This is part three of a 4-day series on Extraordinary Leadership. To view the other parts, click below:
This is an excerpt from Jenni’s book The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach. She is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.