Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well

hcl-202x300 (1)The guest this week on Leadership Development News is Susan Steinbrecher. Susan is a business consultant, speaker, author and leadership expert. She is a licensed mediator and the CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates which is a management consulting firm that provides professional development services in the areas of executive coaching, group facilitation, customer and leadership training. She has a best-selling book from Amazon called, Kensho: A Modern Awakening Instigating Change in an Era of Global Renewal. It’s a business book that delves into the realm of personal development. We will be talking  to her about that and trying to glean from Susan some of the tips that she has for you.

She is also the co-author of her recently released book: Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well, as well as the Roadmap to Success and Straight Talk from America’s Top 10 Speakers. Cathy and I, and Susan all have chapters in that Straight Talk from America’s Top 10 Speakers.

She is a Huffington Post Business blogger and has been a featured expert on MSNBC Your Business, Good Day Dallas, Texas Living, The John Tesh Radio Network, Fortune Small Business Magazine, Dallas Business Journal, CBSMoneyWatch.com, and CNNMoney.com.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: We are very excited to bring you a fascinating show again on one of our favorite topics, which is how we can align ourselves as business professionals with our heart-centered approach to life. I think our program today, with Susan Steinbrecher, is going to be wonderful. She has a wonderful connection, obviously to our friends at Miraval. She wrote a book, called Kensho, which includes our friend Michael Tompkins. We are really connecting the dots today, for those of you who have been listening to the Mindfulness Living Program.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Susan, who have been some of the people or things that have influenced you the most?

Susan Steinbrecher: I would say, career wise,  two bosses in particular; one that was probably one of those best bosses that I learned all of the things that I want to do, and then one was probably one of the toughest bosses I had, who also taught me what I didn’t want to do.

Also, that tough boss; he in particular was interesting. He taught me one of the most valuable lessons which was: it’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. That statement as the general manager of a hotel at the ripe age of 25 made a big difference to me because it really taught me to risk and to trust my instincts. Even though he was a very tough boss to work with, I would say that was a great message from him.

Dr. Relly Nadler: It’s also interesting that you say from both bosses: sometimes it gives you those bookends on how to be.

Susan Steinbrecher: Absolutely, and I think we do learn lessons on both ways, now we would all prefer, of course, the best boss and I think that is the more sustainable strategy, you know: what do the best bosses do long term, for sure. But, we certainly do glean insight from those that we work with that were not as great to work for.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Tell us which of your newest books that we want to focus on?

Susan Steinbrecher: Heart-Centered Leadership, 2nd Edition, is the newest one and that came out in February. The original release of that book was almost 10 years ago. This is the latest release of that particular book, it’s all been updated with a lot of new research—we’ve learned a lot in 10 years; lots of new interviews and testimonials and examples, research, etc., in the latest revision.

Dr. Relly Nadler: What inspired you to go back to that, because often, you may want to be on to the next book, or something new. What was the draw and tell us a little about some of the things that are in it.

Susan Steinbrecher: Really what it was is when my co-author Dr. Joel Bennett and I released Heart-Centered Leadership 1st Edition; it was about a decade ago and we felt like we were pretty much stepping over the cliff a little bit here because it was such a novel concept to use the word leadership and heart all in the same sentence, unfortunately. People were responding with, “I don’t know about this—is this a little too warm and fuzzy, or touchy-feely for me?” Whatever—you know how those kinds of reactions are going to be.

I think the reason we decided to come back is because we have learned a lot in the 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of changes. We now see a plethora of books and articles on the heart and leadership in the same sentence. Unfortunately, there are so many people that are just exhausted, they are working very, very hard, they are asking questions like, “is this all there is?” “Is this what I get for the hard work that I have put forward?” Work/life balance, all that risk. We wanted to come back and say, here’s what we have learned in the last 10 years, do these principles still make sense, do they make even more sense now? We found that that was absolutely the case. So we really wanted to share that. That’s why we wanted to come back and re-release it with all the updated work because we feel like it’s more relevant and more for today than ever.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s so true, so we want to delve into it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Susan, let’s talk about the book—and talk about what inspired this title? Where is the book taking us in this new updated version and tell us a little bit about what inspired you to do this book and revamp it.

Susan Steinbrecher: What inspired me to do this book was, as an executive coach you work with a lot of leaders and in some cases I work with leaders that are derailing in their careers. You start to take a look at that and I started noticing patterns and I started saying, gosh, if these guys make—I say guys figuratively, of course men and women both—but I look at that and I say, they make their lives so much more difficult than it has to be if they would just get these seven things; their life as a leader would be so much easier.

Well, those seven things became the seven principles in Heart-Centered Leadership. I just found the struggle and I saw leaders trying to be better leaders and thinking that they were doing all that they knew how to do, and sort of hitting their head against the wall because they, in their opinion, could not get associates to perform at the level that they needed them to perform. They were trying to figure out what they were doing wrong and why it wasn’t happening and that kind of thing.

So that is what really inspired me to write the book in the first place. To say there is a difference between management, there’s a difference between leadership, and there is a whole other level called heart-centered leadership. If you’ll embrace these things, your life as a leader will be so much more rewarding, fulfilling, and gratifying. I speak to a lot of leaders who say, gosh, “I’m successful but I now what to move on to something that means more.” That’s what I think of as moving from success to significance. I think so many folks are looking for that. They are looking to make an impact on others lives, etc.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: What is in this edition, that is different or evolved? Maybe give us an example of something.

Susan Steinbrecher:  The ways that it is evolved are that we have brand new interviews in here of real heart-centered leaders. We found those folks that are leading in this way and the impact that they are having. So we wanted to introduce those individuals to the world through this book. We’ve also had the opportunity in the last decade to learn so much about the impact of a leader on an associate, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. With that being said, we have a lot of new research in here that really starts to correlate leading in a heart-centered way and how it affects the business’ bottom line.

How does that reduce turn-over, how does that reduce things like Worker’s Compensation claims, sexual harassment, etc., etc.? We also have a lot of new research in here that is up-to-date that really shows the correlation of leading in a heart-centered way is actually a much more profitable way to go. So that is also an update. We had research in the first version, but we have learned so much more and there is so much more available to us in the last decade, so that is all updated here as well.

The principles are the same because we revisited those to say, “do these need to change? What way would they need to change?” What we really found from our research is that they don’t need to change, they just need to be adopted. So, that being said, the principles are the same but all the other surrounding material work to support that has been updated.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Why don’t you tell us about some of the 7 Principles?

Susan Steinbrecher: The principles are:

  1. Know Thyself: Your commitment to Personal Growth
  2. Don’t Assume, Don’t Judge, Come to Understand: Your Open-Mindedness
  3. They Need What You Need: Authenticity
  4. Letting Go: Detachment and Trust
  5. Know the Impact of Your Words and Actions:  Integrity/Foresight
  6. Associates Have a Choice: They Ultimately Will Go Along or Not: Humility and Humbleness
  7. Lead Well, Live Well: Care for the Heart (Self-care/Emotional Health)

Find out more about the principles; how they work and how to implement them as well as the research behind how they work to make you a better leader: a heart-centered leader. Listen to the complete recording, without commercials, above.


Leave a Reply