You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.” – Gordon Mackenzie

Would you like it if people called you and your organization heartless or soulless? Of course not! However, if you don’t intentionally include heart and soul as foundational principles—vital to your success—you are committing the “sin of omission” (or failure to perform an action). 

Most people would agree that employees who are fully engaged and Living On Purpose have far more potential to contribute than those who are not. However, it doesn’t always happen…

Here are some reasons people don’t lead with heart and soul, personally and professionally:

  • Fear of the unknown and the potential outcome. Because so few organizations function at the “heart and soul” level, it can appear an overwhelming task or project. They could worry, What if this approach goes sideways and reduces results? They are usually driven by a lack of confidence or competence.

  • A sign of weakness. I have had professionals actually say this to me. But the book Good to Great (Jim Collins, 2001) makes it clear that great leaders care about their people and demonstrate humility in the process. Operating with heart and soul actually displays confidence and strength in your convictions, not weakness.

  • The team isn’t interested in this soft stuff. This is a false assumption. Many individuals and teams are erroneously labeled as not interested, when they have never been given the chance to engage in this manner. There is an intrinsic need in all of us to connect deeply with each other and to be connected to by others in this same way.

  • Lack of necessary skills, effort, and knowledge. Many leaders simply do not have what it takes to operate at this level. How can people lead others with heart and soul if those two principles have never been modeled for them, or if they have not shown those qualities before?

The truth is, that given the right environment and culture, most individuals want to contribute and communicate at the “heart and soul” level. But they simply have not been given the chance, or have not been part of a supportive culture that personally or organizationally embraces it.

As a leader, ask yourself:

  • Are you and your organization leading with heart and soul? 

  • If I surveyed your staff, what would they say? 

  • If the answer is No, why not? 

  • What do you think is holding you back from creating a respectful environment that embraces fully engaged individuals?


Admittedly, to be able to lead others with heart and soul, you first must set a good example. Credibility will come from what you are doing—not merely from what you are saying.

To lead from the heart requires that you and others are connected to your respective purpose. If I can help you, and your organization lead with purpose, please connect with me.

The power in leading with purpose is huge!

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
Don’t let your team or organization live in fear…Move forward with a sense of purpose today!