Heart Centered Leadership on the Inevitable-Success Show – November 13, 2008

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Heart Centered Leadership on the Inevitable-Success Show – November 13, 2008

Interview with Susan Steinbrecher, Institute of Heart-Centered Leadership

on www.realcoachingradio.com

My guest on today’s show was Susan Steinbrecher, the founder of the Institute of Heart-Centered Leadership and author of Heart Centered Leadership:  An Invitation to Lead from the Inside Out.

Her company, Steinbrecher and Associates, Inc., provides custom-designed training programs, leadership retreats and executive coaching. Susan started this consulting business in the early ‘90s after spending about 14 years in the hospitality industry. However, even with a successful track record, Susan had an obstacle to overcome in starting her own business.  Fear.

For Susan, her rapid rise in the hospitality industry was really the catalyst for her decision to start her own business. Tapping into her early experience as a young manager, she learned how challenging it was to motivate employees to do their best. As she progressed up the corporate ladder, she learned a great deal more about leadership and motivating associates. Conquering her fears, she turned that expertise into something she wanted to share with the world  … and you.

Think about what Susan said and how it applies to your own business:

“If you take excellent care of your associates, they will take great care of your customers which will have a positive impact on your company’s productivity … and profitability.”

This just makes good sense.

Heart Centered Leadership strives to counter the negative impact of chasing profitability first and foremost. That’s because minimizing the importance of associates ultimately means less attention given to customers which results in the pain you will feel the most – its impact on your bottom line. This begs the question – how can you motivate your associates?

At one point in her research, Susan asked people to think about the best boss they ever had. Now, she acknowledged that it was a broad question, so she also asked what that person did or said and what kind of an impact it had. Most people thought of someone within 15-20 seconds. And it wasn’t that boss’s expertise at strategy or planning or budgeting that they remembered – it was the way that boss made them feel. Valued.  I think it’s all about the experience their favorite boss created, because leaders need to create the right environment for people to thrive. This involves developing an emotional climate that resonates with people.

So, what is Heart Centered Leadership (HCL)? According to Susan, HCL is actually defined as “someone who has the wisdom, courage and compassion to lead with authenticity, humility and service. Someone who speaks with authenticity, works collaboratively and has the courage to do the unpopular thing when necessary.”

To get you started, here are the Seven Principles and Virtues of Heart Centered Leadership:


Virtues (emotions to resonate)

Know thyself Commitment to personal growth
Don’t judge and don’t assume – instead, come to understand Open-minded
They need what you need Authenticity
Letting go Detachments
Know the impact of your words and actions Integrity/foresight
Associates have a choice Humility/humbleness
Care for the heart Self-care/emotional health

There is much, much more to it, so I invite you to pick up Susan’s book. Here’s why:

  • Learn why people really quit – is it their job or you?
  • Discover that negativity is like a cancer that may spread throughout your organization.
  • Determine if your style of leadership is starving both you and your associates.
  • Explore the pitfalls that can derail your career or business.
  • Tap into the mental/physical energy that you need to be a successful leader.
  • Understand why employees are often disconnected from your vision.

I highly recommend Susan’s book. It’s an excellent gift for you or the leader in your life. It’s available at the Institute for Heart Centered Leadership’s website at www.instituteofhcl.org and Amazon.com, and you’ll receive a 20 percent discount by using the special code RNF2008. You can also read the Roadmap to Success by Susan and Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard, with  chapters from 15 different authors writing about what success means to them, also available at the Institute’s website.

I wish you all great joy and tremendous success in all that you do.

Jonathan Manske

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