Mark C. Crowley

Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century

What people feel in their hearts has profound influence over their motivation & workplace performance.
“In contrast to longstanding management thinking, the heart is the driving force of human achievement, and employee engagement is a decision of the heart.”
– Mark C. Crowley
Navigation Menu

Five Powerful And Purposeful Questions To Ask In Every Job Interview

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Heart Leadership In Practice, Leadership, Life Lessons |

Frank Sinatra“Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
                                     Rumi, 13th Century

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
                                     Pantajali, 2nd Century B.C

I’m intrigued by the idea that each of us has been put on this planet for a specific purpose.

Virtually all religious traditions, of course, tell us that nature has imbued unique gifts in every person, even a special destiny.

Given the extraordinary number of synchronistic events I’ve experienced throughout my own life, I’m unequivocally convinced that I’m doing the work I was “born to do.”

Think about these people: Frank Sinatra, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill.

Now try to imagine each of them doing something other than what originally made them so remarkable.

If you’re finding this task difficult, it’s simply because their profound talents and impact seem entirely unsuitable to any other conceivable career or job duties.

Now think back on the most productive and engaged employees you’ve ever managed.   Picture one or two of them in your mind.

Read More

Great Leaders Decide With Their Guts, Not Just Their Brains

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Heart Leadership In Practice, Leadership, Wisdom From Other Authors |

HeartMath Logo

The Institute of HeartMath

“Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts. We all have a certain intuition, and the older we get, the more we trust it… I use my intellect to inform my instinct. Then I use my instinct to test all this data. ‘Hey, instinct, does this sound right? Does it smell right, feel right, fit right?
                                                General Colin Powell

The idea of using intuition when making important decisions is greatly frowned upon in business.

We’ve been taught that conscious reasoning alone is the sure-fire way of choosing the best course of action, and that our intuition is impulsive and inherently misguiding.  Stand up in a meeting and say, “I feel this is the right decision even though the financials don’t fully back me up,“ and expect an immediate backlash.

While we’ve all learned to be publicly dismissive about intuition, I’m absolutely certain you can quickly recall an experience when an inner voice steered you away from a disastrous outcome.   Is it logical that this voice doesn’t also speak up when workplace dilemmas need resolution?  Is that inner guidance untrustworthy in our jobs but fully reliable in our personal lives?

I’m guessing you have a hunch on the answers to both these questions, but if your mind isn’t yet fully able to reconcile the conflict, I have good news.  Science is coming to your aid.

According to Dr. Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath, human intuition – flashes of insight that can’t be judged by reasoning – is real.  More importantly, there’s compelling new research that proves leaders who act on their intuition achieve greater success.

Through the research performed by HeartMath and other organizations, we now know there are three unique types of intuition:

(1) Implicit Knowledge:  We learn something and forget we learned it.   While we’re taking a shower or are out for a run, it sneaks up from our unconscious into our conscious.  Voila, the insight we need in the moment pops into our heads.  About 95% of what’s written about intuition relates to “implicit knowledge.”

(2) Energetic Sensitivity:  Our nervous system literally is sensitive to environmental signals (it’s like a big antenna).   Psychologist, Gary Klein, tells the story of a team of fire fighters that entered a house where the kitchen was ablaze.  While hosing down the fire, the commander suddenly heard himself yell, “Let’s get out of here!” without knowing why.  The kitchen floor collapsed immediately after– but not before all firefighters escaped.  Only after the experience did the captain recall the impressions that prompted his “sixth sense of danger.” The fire had gotten unusually hot and quiet, and his intuition discerned it.

(3) Non-Local Intuition:  “Everyone has an experience of it,” says McCraty.  “You drive down a road you travel all the time and have the sudden impulse to slow down.  As you round the corner, you see a small child in the street or an accident that just has happened.  In situations like these, the heart senses the nature of events ahead of time, before they actually occur…. This intuition stuff about unknown future events that you cannot explain through implicit learning is nevertheless real.  The central core of every religion on the planet is the heart is our primary access point to wisdom and courage.  Science is now supporting what’s always been believed.”

For many years, the Australian Graduate School Of Entrepreneurship has been studying repeat entrepreneurs, people with long careers who’ve built businesses multiple times with great success.

In looking for common characteristics, the researchers discovered something amazing – and especially useful for business leaders.  80% of the entrepreneurs acknowledged relying on their intuition when making important decisions.  When weighing their options, in other words, they relied on their cognitive capacities and intuitive capacities – heart and mind.

In his recent book, Onward, Starbucks CEO and hugely successful entrepreneur, Howard Schultz, admits to routinely consulting his intuition and to taking frequent action on the guidance it gives him.  Overruling financial analysis that strongly panned both these ideas, Schultz chose to remove a very popular breakfast item from the menu and to close all Starbucks’ stores for three hours of employee training.  Had he relied on his mind alone to guide these actions, he never would have pursued them.   Perhaps not coincidentally, Starbucks’ stock is up 400% over the past decade while the S & P 500 average return is a mere 60%.

As Daniel Kahneman points out in Thinking Fast And Slow, making important decisions tied to intuition alone can prove disastrous.  But what science now has proved is that we have two sources of human intelligence, and letting them both have a say is a very wise move.

When you share these blogs with friends and colleagues via social media, another angel gets its wings.   We invite you to join Mark’s tribe and receive his articles (and other occasional tribe-only gifts) directly each week.

PS:  After this article was posted, all of the social media counters on our website mysteriously reverted to zeros — and all historical share counts were lost.  All links now are working!


Read More

Seize Opportunities To Demonstrate You Care

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in Heart Leadership In Practice, Leadership, Life Lessons |

Magnetic ResonanceA few years ago, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  While all on it’s own the experience was the most terrifying of my life, the people who were supposed to care about me really didn’t.

Doctors, no less, made the circumstances far worse than they needed to be, and ignored how their indifference could have a rippling and discomforting effect on my entire family.

There will be moments in your life as a leader when your employees will need your thoughtfulness, your generosity – your humanity.   They’ll need you, as their boss, to drop your guard, display your heart, and show people how much they matter.  Blow this with any one person who works for you and you will lose their full engagement forever.

I went to see my “primary” doctor after having fluid remain in one ear for over a week.  I’d had this problem at other times in my life and had come to believe it was a chronic condition.  My doctor seemed to believe the same thing, but nonetheless sent me to a specialist just to be certain.

With water still clogging my one ear, I underwent a hearing test.  Not surprisingly, I heard very few of the repeated beats of varying decibels in the affected ear.  While distressing, it seemed logical to me that sound would be greatly muffled by the fluid, and I successfully raised my hand every time tones were sent to my other ear.

The clinician who administered the exam was unable to reveal the exam results and told me my new doctor would review them with me.  Her secrecy had me on edge, but I was fully unprepared for what came next.

The eye-ear-nose-throat expert was no rapport builder.  With his eyes perusing my report, and after barely saying hello, he asked me a series of rapid-fire questions.  “Was your head ever injured in an accident?  Have you begun having serious headaches?  Have you ever been exposed to a gun shot?”

Even though I answered “no” to all of his leading questions, my doctor with the off-putting bedside manner cut to the chase.  “I’ll need to run more tests, but I’m quite certain you have a brain tumor.”  Very directly, and without any display of concern for my feelings, he told me the Latin name for it, explained that I likely would need brain surgery to remove it, and advised me to go home and “look it up on the internet.”

I walked out of that hospital like a zombie and called my wife just as I was pulling out of the parking lot.  “He said I have a brain tumor; can you look up my condition and tell me what it says?”

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest