What 4 questions do leaders need to ask to win hearts and minds?

Winning the hearts of minds of employees adds real value to an organisations’s share value. In Firms of Endearment, organisations such as Wholefoods or Zappos, typically outperformed the S&P 500 by a magnitude of 10:1 over a 15 year period. They even outperformed those companies identified by Jim Collins as being ‘Good to Great’ by a magnitude of 3:1.

So where and how does a company start to engage the hearts and minds of its key stakeholders?

In the first place, it starts with the behaviour of its leaders.  Whilst not everyone can be a Walter Robb or a Tony Hsieh, every leader can and should play a part in engaging the hearts and minds of stakeholders by demonstrating consistency and authenticity in everything they do.


As a starting point, leaders need to be continually asking themselves :

  1. What result do I want to create
    1. What is my real purpose?
    2. Am I in a proactive life stance?
    3. Do I have a sense of meaning?
    4. Am I challenged and engaged?
  2. Am I internally directed?
    1. What am I afraid of?
    2. What are my core values?
    3. What would I do if I had 2% more courage?
    4. Am I moving forward no matter what the punishment?
  3. Am I focused on others?
    1. Who is in the relationship?
    2. Am I pursuing a purpose larger than me?
    3. Am I sacrificing for the common good?
    4. Are my relationships full of trust and respect?
  4. Am I externally open?
    1. Am I doing what I do not know how to to do?
    2. Have I let go of control?
    3. Am I embracing feedback?
    4. Is my awareness expanding dramatically?

It is not just asking these questions which delivers high performing companies. Afterall, these questions focus purely on raising the self awareness of the leader. However, it is only with self awareness that leaders can deliver genuine, authentic and heartfelt change. The type of change which wins the hearts and minds of all employees.