Friday 23 October 2020

Invoking key behaviours of the head

 Content for this post and podcast is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management.

In a section of the book about exchanging and delivering value I explore eight qualities of head behaviour that flow on from the eight heart qualities that I have previously mentioned here. Learn more via the video and resources here.

The eight head qualities Openness, Sense-making, Decision-making, Problem-solving, Imagination, Human-centred design, Systems-thinking, Curiosity. 

Let’s explore each one:


From a thinking perspective openness means avoiding bias and suspending ideologies and beliefs and being completely open to the unlimited possibilities every moment offers.

Such openness is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


Sensemaking or sense-making is the process by which people give meaning to their collective experiences. It has been defined as "the ongoing retrospective development of plausible images that rationalize what people are doing”

The key for me is giving meaning. A wonderful habit to nurture is exploring with folk what they mean and what has meaning for them.

Such sense-making is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


We will address this formally in the section on transparency coming up next. For now see it as a process that helps others to see how you thought through something or arrived at the decision you did. This is a great giving meaning to something action within itself.

Such decision-making is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


Asking people you meet what problems do you solve? Or my preference what challenges do you help other people to overcome? are much more intriguing question that so what do you do?

Like decision-making problem solving that is transparent and meaning helps us all to think clearly and to fully utilise our minds amazing capacity to provide us with how to’s.

Such problem-solving is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


The following is from Albert Einstein’s 1931 published book “Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms’

“At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

I love “For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

John Lennon of course was onto this insight in his wonderful anthem ‘Imagine’.

“Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You, you may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you will join us

And the world will be as one …”

Such imagination is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Human-centred design

I’m a fan of the people at IDEO. In their Field Guide to Human Centered Design, they say, “When you understand the people you’re trying to reach—and then design from their perspective—not only will you arrive at unexpected answers, but you’ll come up with ideas that they’ll embrace.”

I only do bespoke work with my clients for this reason. I’m meticulous in my research with the goal of understanding the people I’m working with and then the work is all about you applying proven principles in your own best way.

Such human-centred design is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


I’m always interested in how humans interact and transact with other humans as well as with technology. Any technology that doesn’t enhance the human experience is of no interest to me.

Heart-Leaders are asking how does this feel or how could this feel? before engaging the head to work out system changes.

Such systems-thinking is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.


Curiosity is also one of the 24 Sparkenation Conversation Essentials. From a thinking perspective being curious is paying attention to the human experience and thinking about how things can be different, better or more valuable from a human perspective.

Such curiosity is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

The following is the flow of each of these head qualities from the eight heart qualities to the corresponding hand actions that we will explore in next Friday's post and podcast.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


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