Lead with the WHOLE you at work – not just the professional


In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they’re about the brain, but in the future, they’ll be about the heart.

Minouche Shafik, Director, London School of Economics

Showing up holistically in every aspect of your life takes courage and knowing who you are.  We’ve been conditioned to believe that, in the workplace, work is work and the parts of you that make you human don’t belong there.  Time amongst others is challenging us to evolve and begin to look at our employee’s or ‘our people’ in the workplace as a WHOLE person.  Not just the professional that’s at work Monday- Friday.

Our work places are changing, the way we work is changing and it’s time we do too.

I’m thrilled to see that there’s increasing conversations on how to evolve leadership. Thereby challenging the way we bring ourselves to work, challenging the way we hire talent, challenging our expectations of what the workplace means today.  Can we start to see more organizations modeling these changes as part of their core values?

Part of adopting this as a core value in your company – one that prioritizes people first, and thereby accepting your employee in full, is leading by example.  Leadership in its truest forms.  It’s leading with people first over profits. 

It’s understanding that as individuals, we’re whole rather than just playing a role in the workplace.  Yes, you need to make money, yes you run a business, yes you need the best people to perform to help run and drive your business. You can do all of that while accepting your people as whole individuals, vs. just professionals.

Brene Brown, author of Dare to Lead. Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, discusses leadership in the most courageous way and challenges our definition of what leadership looks like. For me at least it has. We need more conversations around brave work, tough conversations and leading with whole hearts.

Having productive discussions on what I like to call, leading with heart, is one thing but modeling this behavior is another.  When you lead as the whole you and not just as the President/CEO/Manager, you encourage others to do the same. You create a culture where it’s acceptable to bring your whole self to the work table. You’ve invested in your people as whole human beings.

When you’re leading as a whole person and not just the professional, here’s what that leadership looks like:

  1. Leading with your whole heart
  2. Demonstrating kindness, openness, and transparency
  3. Leading with self-compassion, compassion for others and empathy
  4. Embracing diversity and celebrating inclusiveness
  5. Getting up after you fall and trying again
  6. Celebrating all wins big and small
  7. Practicing recognition and gratitude daily
  8. Honoring downtime as much as work time
  9. Embracing creative solutions
  10. Mirroring your purpose and values

What might happen if you began to lead with your whole self and created a culture where your employees were free to be themselves?

If you’re motivated to evolve and embrace a new way of leading, a new way of working, start by making a conscious choice to lead differently. Years of ‘doing things the way it’s always been done,’ doesn’t mean it needs to take years to unlearn and embrace a new way of being.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What’s one thing you can do today to embrace a NEW way to lead?

Leave a comment below and remember, inspired action comes from a desire to change and a willingness to move forward. 👊

With so much love ❤

Lisa xo