The future of leadership comes from the heart

At {dive} we always said that the audience matters as much as the speakers or the host. Mark C. Crowley was one of our pioneer attendees at {dive} 2016 and, just like the other 99, a very special one! Leadership consultant and speaker, Mark’s mission is to fundamentally change how we lead and manage people in the workplace, and to intentionally make it far more supportive of human needs. Let’s hear about his latest achievements and projects for a brighter future.

Hi Mark, what is your main professional achievement since {dive}?  

I just spent the past several months helping a large Canadian Cable/Internet/Cellular company refresh its cultural values.  After conducting focus groups & marinating in wide employee feedback, I proposed new values which captured the firm’s 40 year heritage while purposely leaning it towards the future.  We just launched the new values in a meeting with the company’s top 600 leaders. After senior managers had already expressed great enthusiasm for all I’d created, the line managers enthusiastically embraced them as well. Hugely satisfying as I know I did really good work!  

How did you manage to transform the experience of your customers?  

My goal in developing the new values was to capture the elements that had made this company successful for four decades. But I also knew I needed to align the future values to all I’ve learned about what motivates human beings in their jobs. This meant emphasizing heart, care — and emotion-laden words that would inspire people.  The risk with assignments like this is that new company values end up just being hollow words hung on every wall.  For values to be useful, they must be lived every day. So I insisted the CEO, President and all senior leaders fully commit to them — a pledge that means every business decision will get passed through the filter of all 7 values.  They completely agreed and made the commitment I sought.  

What is your next big dive??  

I recently met a Dr. James Doty, a Stanford Medical School Professor who also is one of the US’s top brain surgeons.  In his new book, Inside The Magic Shop, he expresses belief in my own thesis: that the heart is a feeling/thinking organ that greatly influences our choices & reasons.  I’m in the process of writing a new article which will share the new science related to the heart along with insights from Dr. Doty. My ambition is to influence leaders all around the world to “lead from the heart,” and to intentionally care about their people knowing this is the soundest way of driving high performance.  Having a brain surgeon say that the heart (and not the brain) has the greatest influence on human success will make this article even more compelling!  

What is the top of mind word coming to you when you think about {dive}?  


To learn more about Mark C. Crowley, visit his website.