Good leaders encourage the heart. They want people to have the courage and confidence to do what they’ve not done before. Encouraging the heart goes beyond motivation. It also requires helping people surmount their fears and embrace uncertainties.

Encourage the Heart

Leaders inspire a shared vision and challenge the process. We already talk about that. These require employees to do something that they’ve not done before.

A few people get excited about doing something new. But most people are afraid to start something they are not sure about. So, leaders need to encourage the heart.

You can do this, I promise.

Recognize team members to go the extra mile.

Encourage team members to go beyond what they’ve always done.

You must have heard others say that we must get out of our comfort zone. That’s right. But really, our intention is not just to be out of our comfort zone. We want to expand our comfort zone. We want the unfamiliar to become familiar.

That’s why we train, coach, and mentor leaders, so they gain familiarity even before you ask them to do something.

Every time a team member goes out of their comfort zone, do something new and be the first to recognize them.

You don’t have to wait for months to do this. Instead, catch people doing something good and, when necessary, tell the world about it.

Celebrate victories and values.

We talk about celebrating small wins. We do that to encourage people to keep moving. If you have seen those kids (and adults) who run after little monsters to play Pokemon Go, you see the power of small wins.

You celebrate the big wins too. And let the big wins show people what you value most in your organization.

I said that leaders must model the way. And I also told you that employees must model the way too.

Celebrate those who are modeling the way. Affirm what people are doing good, and they’ll keep doing it.

Leaders encourage the heart – and you can do that each day.

The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart, and head, and hands.

Robert M. Pirsig

This article is part of a series of the five vital behaviors of breakthrough leaders. 

You can learn more about these behaviors in the book the Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. In the book, they call these five practices of exemplary leaders.

I teach these vital behaviors in the Breakthrough Leadership Workshops. In this article, we will talk about the fifth behavior: Encourage the Heart.


Grow your leadership. Explore the following leadership articles.

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  • 19 Guiding Leadership Principles. Your leadership principles are your foundational beliefs about leading people. Early in your leadership journey, you define the principles that will guide you in making small and big decisions.
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  • 4 Alternatives to Seminars in the Philippines. There are better alternatives to seminars. Use them to provide faster, better, and sometimes cheaper learning opportunities to your employees.
  • 4 Ways To Make Leadership Courses Work. Leadership courses are worth it if you make them work. Not all leadership courses are equal. Some leadership courses are worth every centavo you invest. Others cause migraines as speakers drone for hours talking about nonsense.

Develop Your Leadership

Are you interested to know what leadership is? Understanding leadership is an excellent first step to becoming a better leader. The ability to define something can help you experience it, then teach it to others.

Learning Opportunities

I design and deliver new leadership learning experiences. Explore these leadership training programs.

Develop Good Leaders

The aim of leadership training is to provide leaders with a good foundation and to help them develop leadership skills and vital behaviors that bring better results.

Jef Menguin

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