From my book “Living and Dying”
Another story, illustrating the value of connection, is more recent. As my age advances it is time to begin the process of transferring ownership to the next generation at the funeral home. My business partner (my cousin) and I have been together since the early 1980s when we bought the business and we wanted to create a plan to transition ownership. We hired a consultant to assist in that process. It became clear very early on that my partner and I had issues in both personality and management styles. We had never shared a history of connection even after our childhood together. Because of our inability to deal with that, we instead shared a history of disagreement and dysfunction (one that our fathers had created before us). The consultant who worked with us over a year’s time shared new ideas and offered suggestions to encourage mutual understanding and develop our relationship in a good and supportive way. During one of our meetings, she suggested to me that I needed to lead more with my heart and not my head.
You know when you have one of those moments in life where it all becomes clear? That was one of my big moments. I had always known about the connection between heart and head since I was a young boy, but now I was becoming an older man and it seemed to be the only thing that was important. I began practicing the art of leading with my heart. I would consider the person I was talking with to be the most important and interesting person in my life no matter where I was. I would consider that person to be the most interesting person in my life at that moment, and I would care. What I realized was that the head followed and was always present. Even though I might say the same things I would normally say, something was different. It felt different. People didn’t react or fight back, they weren’t afraid of me, and they would smile. They somehow felt and knew my heart was there.
“Blessings on your journey”
One thought on “Have a heart”
Thank you, Mark, for the beautiful reminder to lead with our heart. I particularly like how you did it – by making the person you are with the most interesting person in your life. Well said and well done. Now i have all day to practice this.