Friday 24 July 2020

Sparkenation conversations are integral to your Heart-Leadership

In writing my Heart-leadership book this week my focus in part was on the the essentials for Sparkenations conversations that are integral to your Heart-Leadership.

A reminder. A Sparkenation is a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Please also watch the video and read the post here where I explore the 8 heart-qualities that are in bold in the graphic below.

Kindly note that playing your role, self-awareness, awareness of others are covered elsewhere in the Heart-Leadership book.

Empathetic listening

Understanding the feelings of a fellow human being and engaging in feeling talk is a great gift we give others as well as ourselves. Sharing feelings is heart language. It’s very different to usual conversation which is about opinions and facts or what people perceive as facts that are actually opinions!


A wise mentor of mine once told me that giving a gift was not as important as the words on the card. I have never forgotten this.


Heart-Leaders are admired for the questions they ask, more than the answers they give to other people’s questions.


I have come to recognise that wonderful words of inspiration and ideas that take your breath away often follow moments of silence. I once waited 11 minutes after posing a question to a group. The most inexperienced person in the room was the first to speak and her words changed us all forever.

Epiphany/defining moments

There’s nothing quite like it is there when the penny drops for someone? Witnessing other people’s ah ha moments always gives me joy.

Significance of shared-view in the seven areas of significance

When there is a shared-view of these seven in any team, desired results happen.

1. where you are (reality),
2. where you're going (possibility),
3. why you're going there (purpose),
4. how you will get there (strategy),
5. who will do what and when (execution),
6. how you will know you are on track (progress),
7. how you will behave along the way (culture and values).

The magnificent seven are explored in detail in ‘The Appreciative Leader’ handbook which you can download via the PDF here.

Being in the room

Legendary United Kingdom based professional speaker and author Nigel Risner says “when you’re in the room, be in the room”.

It is easy to get distracted particularly online. We are doing each other disservice though when we are not giving our undivided attention.
I was reminded of this once many years a go when a colleague whose opinion I still seek out and highly regard, suggested to me after coming to hear me speak that I gave a great presentation yet let people down because I wasn’t really in the room before hand. Ouch. I have been in the room every time since!


I am fortunate that I was born curious. I’m curious first about people. Everyone we meet is a one-of-a-kind human being. What’s special about this one-of-a-kind in front of me? is the silent question I am always asking.

I’m curious process. How does this work? How could it work better for people?

I’m curious about unchanging principles and how I can apply them and help others to apply them in our own best way.


I invested a year (2015) in studying ‘essentialism' and it central idea of “less but better”. Living this concept has been transformational for me and those I have supported as they adopt it.


The ability to hold opposing views in our minds at once was regarded by the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald as a sign of first rate intelligence.

I believe in social democracy for example and lean to the left. Therefore I need to understand the right and other forms of democracy and how different views are opposed to mine in order to sustain an openness. I do not believe is right or wrong or any particular way being better than another. What I’m searching for is a shared-view and how to collaborate with other people who may have fundamentally different beliefs to mine.

Best version of you inspiring the best version of me

My friend and colleague Matt Church says “Leadership is about making sure the best version of you speaks to the best version of us.”

This is at the core of heart-leadership, seeking the best version in people. process and progress.

People first, environment second, profit last

The biggest losers in life I have observed are those who put profit before people and the planet.

There is nothing wrong or evil about making money. Profit, I believe, is a result of being good at business. It can never be a reason for being in business. And it can never be made at the expense of people or our planet.


I love this wonderful line from the founder of Wired Magazine Kevin Kelly “Optimize your generosity. No one on their deathbed has ever regretted giving too much away.”

I have found that the more I give without attachment to getting back the more I get back.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

PS I host Sparkenation Conversations online on the first Wednesday and the third Tuesday and third Wednesday of every month. Learn more.

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