My mantra so far this year has been Heart King. This means that I am ruling my life from my heart primarily.
This is an interesting proposition, considering I work in corporate America, which is very much the province of the mind. Here the heart is looked upon with suspicion.
And yet, this is my greatest strength. This is the best of me I have to offer myself the people in my life, and the people I try to help with my work.
What do I mean by this? In Myers-Briggs terms my primary strength is introverted feeling. What this means is that I am best at identifying and living from my feelings and identifying the emotions of others, preferably in small groups. And even more preferably one on one.
I have traditionally worked from my second greatest Myers Briggs strength – extroverted intuition. This is much more accepted in corporate America, and is generally a safer thing to reveal and live from.
However, it is not my greatest strength. I truly enjoy it and feel energized when I use it but I am feeling called to use my greatest strength more explicitly in my work as well.
And my StrengthsFinder assessment, taken numerous times over two decades, repeatedly lists my greatest strength as empathy. This is the feeling function in action. People around me know that I can go into an informal therapist mode. This can energize me but also burn me out. People who know me may also notice that I have steadily decreased that role in the last decade or so.
I think what burns me out about it is that I have not been as good lately in aiming it at myself. Attempts at doing that I’ve been very calming and extremely helpful. I recommend it!
I am in the process of revamping my offerings and the website. My old mode would be to just try to add more things on to find more clients that are new that would be attracted to something else. I’m trying something different this time around. I am letting things go that my heart is an excited about. And I am organizing things in order of what my heart is excited about and feels is most wonderful to offer, most helpful to people.
Some people may be uncomfortable with the word heart, because after all our literal heart is just this organ that it’s pumping blood. If this is you, perhaps you could think of it in terms of the brain. The amygdala tries to keep us safe. The neo cortex wants connection. This is the neocortex in charge now, not the amygdala. It is helpful though, do you think of the heart as the metaphorical location of the neocortex. There is a reason we put a hand on our hearts as kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It would look a little weird if we put our hands on our heads while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. And just try giving a brain-shaped box of chocolates to your sweetie Valentine’s Day.
So the metaphorical heart is in charge now for me. If you relish this idea, I recommend taking it on today as well. I believe we are all ready for some compassionate leadership.
Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:
StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action.
MBTI Team Quest – Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.