Leadership Starts with the Heart

Leadership Starts with the Heart

What does your heart have to do with leadership?  In one word – everything.

The heart is “our why.” Within the heart lies the reason why we do what we do; it is our intention and motivation.  It is the core of who we are, so it has everything to do with everything.  Scripture tells us clearly, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”(Proverbs 4:23).

In your heart, your beliefs about Jesus are stored – and that belief changes everything.  A favorite quote from A. W. Tozer reminds us, “What you believe about God is the most important thing about you.” 

Not long ago, I received a phone call from a woman named Debbie. She said she needed prayer.

Debbie confided that she worked in a church as a bookkeeper. The night before, she and her husband had been invited to dinner in the home of her boss and his wife.  Somewhere in the middle of dinner, her boss said, “We are hiring a new church administrator, and he will be doing your job.”

Nothing else was said. 

Now on the phone with me, Debbie said, “I am so angry.”  She said she had seen other people treated this way at her church, and it wasn’t right or fair. She was devastated.  She wanted to lash out.  She wanted to strike back. But before she did, she reached out.  She said, please pray with me. 

I truly believe it was God who prompted me to say what came out next. “Before we pray, Debbie, may I ask you some questions?”  She agreed this would be fine.

Is God good?  “Yes.”

Does He have a plan and purpose for your life?  “I did believe that.”

Do you believe anyone or anything can change God’s plan for you?  “No.”

Does God love you?  “Yes.”

Do you belief God will use everything in our lives for His glory and our good as He promised? “Yes.” Even this?  “Yes.”

Can you trust Him with the all the details of your life? “Yes.”

Ok.  Are you ready to pray?

Haven’t we had experiences like this? There are moments where the challenge is so big that we have to go back to the core of what we believe about God.  Those beliefs are stored in your heart and change everything in you and for those you influence.

Through Scripture, we’ve learned that love is stored in our hearts (Mark12:33); we forgive each other from our hearts (Matthew 18:35), our words are banked in our hearts (Luke 6:45), we store Scripture in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), and it is in the heart that we seek and find God (Jeremiah 29:13). No wonder we are told to guard our hearts above all else!

A changed heart equals a changed leader. And leading like Jesus – leadership that achieves strong relationships and results –  starts on the inside, beginning with the heart. 



Phyllis Hendry Halverson

Phyllis Hendry Halverson serves as the inaugural President and CEO of Lead Like Jesus, a global leadership development ministry. Under her visionary leadership, the organization has grown exponentially since its founding in 1999, equipping and empowering thousands of people throughout the United States and around the world to lead as Jesus led. Phyllis radiates passion, warmth, authenticity and wit in every presentation, and as a result, she is a highly sought after speaker, regularly travelling across the U.S. and around the world. Prior to joining Lead Like Jesus, she served for 11 years as President of the National Science Center, Inc., in Augusta, a partnership with the United States Army. Phyllis enjoys spending time with her four children and nine grandchildren.  

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