In Chapter 11 of his book Educational Administration: Leading with Heart and Mind, as the title suggests, Robert Palestini discusses the concept of “Leading With Heart.” Palestini uses a case study approach to apply this concept to merely show his readers how workplace relationships are approached by a leader. Critics may argue that Palestini does not provide details how leading with heart would work in situations laden with conflicts than an administrator typically faces, but he does manage to show us a leader’s sensitive side. Perhaps, Palestini does not sufficiently deliver the promise in this chapter’s title, but he does give his readers, us students, the opportunity to present their views. Personally, I agree with Palestini that “a truly enlightened leader leads with heart” (Palestini 247). “[C]atching people doing something wrong is easy,” (Palestini 247), but by leading with heart, a leader will see people as “industrious” and will be able to grant them the opportunity to do a quality job.
I would disagree with Palestini’s claim that the leaders of today lead with heart because they most of them are too rational, and lead with their mind. Surely, it works and they are not criticized for it, but every time they lead with their mind, they page a huge price in form of doubting themselves, stressing themselves and those working under them, and stagnation. Partially agreeing with those who feel that Palestini has not explained how lead with heart would work conflict-laden situations, perhaps this is because even leading with heart is not easy but it is worth it. I believe the rational part of leading with heart is to use effective management tactics to provoke others to do things they have the potential to do but may not be doing. They need to inspire people to discover their potential or as Palestini writes, they need to become “enablers.” A good leader loves his potential, a great leader loves bringing out the potential of others.
The admirable thing about what Palestini has discussed is how he suggests that “the leader must become the servant of servants” (Palestini 247). Leading by heart can allow leaders to care about other people who have the potential to make something meaningful happen but just need a push. As Palestini mentions, the leaders of today interested in “bolster[ing] their career goals,” but when leading by heart, leaders do not care about who gets the credit. A majority of business leaders do not even have the courage to lead by heart, but they eventually realize that they made the right choice by leading with heart. As Palestini concludes, that by combining strategic planning with leading with heart, the end result was receiving positive feedback. Unlike popular belief, the mind is moved by the heart, and thus, it is only logical for leaders to consider leading with heart. However, of course, as Palestini emphasizes, to be successful, it is best to lead with both.
Palestini, R. (2011). Educational administration: Leading with mind and heart. (3rd ed.). Estover Road, Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Education.