Heart-Centered Business?

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Heart-centered and business may not be a connection many make because business and commerce are often viewed as the machine we just need to keep running, no matter what the cost. The research I’ve been doing and what I’m seeing in my founder and executive leadership clients is heart-centered business is exactly what the world needs more of now, especially if we want to keep this earth and the humans on it around for a bit longer. Then again, I also named and talk to my car. She does seem to run better when I do so. 

I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the founders of Biggby Coffee recently. When I asked him what heart-centered business meant to him, I didn’t even have to explain it. The look in his eyes, the smile that widened on his face, and his demeanor let me know he was already prioritizing this way of leading and being. Curious to learn how? Follow his journey here as he and his wife work to make his business as direct-to-farmer as possible. 

What did he know that didn’t need to be said between us? Heart-centered business is symbiotic (mutually beneficial) with everything it encounters (including more than a paycheck for its worker bees). It is regenerative: giving back into rather than extracting from and expecting more and more. It leaves nothing on empty nor does it leave a tumultuous wake for somebody else to clean up later. Rather, as my dad taught me before my first babysitting gig, it leaves the place better than when it got there

It is also anchored on these core tenets that I will dive more into later:

  • People, planet, & product in same priority lane (not after) with sustainable, regenerative profits:
    • That means many things, but right now I can’t stop thinking about how many retailers overproduce goods to hit a financial plan, then when they don’t sell those goods through all the choices, they often land in a clothes desert in South America.
  • Quality always over quantity:
  • Vision combined with values always take precedence over short term profits
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Curiosity comes before judgment
  • Doing the right thing after assessing the situation and asking questions to gain clarity is precedent over immediate profit:
    • Andy, the founder of Antelope Electric, shared a story with me about how one question helped him do right by a client, but decreased his short term profit. He was asked to install all the necessary parts for a Tesla charging system (a heavy cost investment for the older gentleman). He asked how far the man drove daily, and soon learned he didn’t need the install he requested and could instead use what was already available. He told him just that saving himself time, his client money, and likely gaining a client and positive word of mouth for life.

A heart-centered business is also one that encourages leaders to shine their authentic light, celebrates mistakes as a step to quicker learning, empowers with tools for courageously authentic conversations and feedback. It recognizes that the people that keep the engine running are also humans just doing their best inside and outside of work. And that when encouraged to have healthy habits and a life outside of the office productivity, efficient decision making, and morale increase. Which decreases turnover, a hefty cost to any organization.

It fights the board because it KNOWS the health of the customer, and the strategy makes sense for the vision of the company and diverse revenue streams. 

It knows that the best decisions are made on a walk. It puts the long term health of earth and humans at the center of its business model.

It pays people a living wage, but also knows it doesn’t need to over employ or over promote. A lean efficient structure with the right people in the right places, because their gifts are seen and their voices are heard.

I share simple tips for how to know and act on all of the above when the world encourages you not to that I used to bring more heart-centered leadership into my corporate career and also currently use as an entrepreneur. You’ll also hear from guest leaders and learn about featured businesses that lead with the heart in this category. 

Aug 17, 2023

Business, Business Featured, Heart-Centered


**Many of my posts contain affiliate links. These products I share are ones I use time and time again after choosing from the heart (and also earn income from, at no cost to you). They have changed my life and I hope to ripple that out to you. Thank you for supporting me!

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