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The Leadership Podcast

The Leadership Podcast

Why do we do this?

We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

How we do this?

#1 We interview great leaders.
#2 We review the books great leaders read and write.
#3 We have fun!

Nov 1, 2017

Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart: Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century, shares his story of why he treats people with extraordinary compassion. He’s a keen observer of why  atypical management behavior can be effective for creating high-performing teams. He believes we need fundamental leadership change to meet the employment needs of the future workforce.

Key Takeaways

[1:43] Mark explains his leadership background.
[3:32] Practical experience leads to success.
[6:23] His unconscious pivot was to give back to those who worked for him.

[7:36] Mark started to give people the things he had missed in his life. His teams responded in the most profound ways with extraordinary success. For twenty years he led with heart. One day someone pointed out to him that he had a very different way of managing people. Mark asked what they meant. That observation opened his eyes.

[8:37] Mark started to explore this new understanding and to refine his behaviors to be even better. He researched and validated his own observations and why they worked. People respond to leadership from the heart by developing loyalty and achieving great things.
[12:45] The world trends toward focusing on data and information-based decisions. Daniel Kahneman wrote that after the rational analysis, ask your heart to weigh in. Insight will tip the decision one way or the other. Use data to drive operations. When it comes to people, use emotional currency to drive behavior.
[15:28] If you could save big money and drive earnings with layoffs, the data and the mind would say to do it, but the heart would consider the effect on the people you let go, and the effect on the morale of the people who remain. 

[18:51] There is a real connection between emotion, stress, and the heart. Extreme stress and loneliness accelerate heart problems. People don’t just want autonomy. They also want association and collaboration. Make people feel safe, with a trusting relationship with you, and they will routinely do extraordinary work for you. Mark tells audiences, love your people.
[32:38] Gallup surveys show no improvement in engagement in 15 years. We need to invest in people to reinvent leadership. Gallup says two-thirds of managers today lack the ability and talents to manage and influence people effectively. 



Twitter: @MarkCCrowley

LinkedIn: Mark C. Crowley

Facebook: Lead From The Heart


Quotable Quotes


“The pivot that I made unconsciously was to then give back to people who worked for me.”


“Feelings and emotions drive human behavior and performance.”


“When I say, lead from the heart, it’s not metaphorical. It’s literal.”


Low-performing people put onto a high-performing team become better performers.



Mark C. Crowley is the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century and his mission is to fundamentally change how we lead people in workplaces around the globe.


Mark is a regular contributor to Fast Company Magazine and has been published in USA Today, Reuters, The Huffington Post and the Seattle Times. His two most recent LinkedIn Pulse articles have been read well over a million times. His book is now being taught in five American universities, including the educational Ph.D. program at Brandman University in California.


Before writing his book, Mark spent over 20 years in senior leadership roles within the dog-eat-dog world of Financial Services, where he was named leader of the year. Quite untraditionally, Mark proved that caring about people, and thereby positively affecting employee’s hearts, had a remarkable effect on driving sustained engagement, loyalty, and productivity.


New and breakthrough medical research Mark draws upon in his book now proves that the heart is actually the driver of optimal human performance. A leadership pioneer, Mark shows us that leading from the heart is the most informed and enlightened thing a manager or organization can do.

Books mentioned in this episode

Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century, by Mark C. Crowley

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, by Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon

Is It Worth Dying For?: How To Make Stress Work For You — Not Against You, by Robert S. Eliot

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink