The head and the heart are two different things, both with very different agendas.
Your heart can often influence decisions based on a fluffy, overly-optimistic outlook on everything, oblivious to all the negative stuff that could be going on. Your head, however, isn’t afraid to say it as it is. It doesn’t hesitate to argue with your heart, to shake you up and make you see sense.
I’ve definitely learned over the years that your heart is kind. (By the way, I’m talking about the majority of us who are nice people – there are obviously some people whose hearts are less kind.)
The ‘heart to head’ ratio in business
In business, the heart vs head thing can be a battle. For some of us, our heart gets the majority vote on decisions, and for some, it’s the head. However, for others, it might be an equal partnership. This can lead to some issues and lots of procrastination, because you’re just unable to make decisions!
Leading with the head results in more rationality
I believe that, in business, leading with the heart can often cause you to make the wrong decisions. Meanwhile, leading from the head can result in more considered and realistic decisions being made. These kind of decisions are often in the best interests of the business. What’s more, leading with the heart can sometimes only delay the inevitable intervention of the head a little bit further down the line.
I know this all sounds a bit twee, but I’m sure there’ll be people reading this right now who completely understand where I’m coming from.
It might be that you’ve got a member of staff who you love dearly. They’re a lovely person and they are trying, but they’re just not the right person for that role. Your heart says stick with them, but your head knows that it’s costing the business, it’s putting the business at risk and a tough decision needs to be made.
From experience, sometimes, the hardest thing is having to ignore what your heart is telling you to make extremely tough decisions. These decisions must be made for the survival of your business – and you have a responsibility for that.
Now, they don’t come much tougher than having to remove staff from your business, but those decisions have to be made. I haven’t met anyone in business who hasn’t had to do that from time to time.
That said, everybody’s different! Everybody bases their decisions on different emotional triggers.
Financial success vs company culture
My heart is on my sleeve, and I genuinely believe that had I made more decisions with my head and not my heart, my business would be much more successful right now. However, culturally, that might not be the type of business that I want to be owning – and that’s a whole other conversation.
Your head can be stern and making decisions in black and white, whereas in your heart, there’s more instinctive things going on. Granted, you’re not always going to get that right. However, you’re probably going to end up with a better-looking business than you would if you were just stern and making the absolute bang-on decision all the time.
Honesty and transparency
The other thing I’ve noticed with people who lead with the heart is that we share a lot more information than those who are more focused on head-forming decisions. We can be more open and transparent, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m sharing these experiences right now.
It’s certainly something worth thinking about before going into business: what drives you as a person? Are you more from the heart, or are you more from the head?
Thank you for reading this chapter of the Diary of an Entrepreneur. I must stress, I’m not trying to teach you anything. I’m just sharing my journey, and if it motivates you, then great – job done!
If you want to hear more about my entrepreneurial journey, check out the Diary of an Entrepreneur podcast on all available platforms – I talk all things business in terms of my OWN journey and experience. It’s not one to miss!