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Open Your Heart

The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities

ISBN: 978-1-78441-290-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-289-0

Publication date: 24 November 2014


To open your heart to others is a physical act of leadership. It can include crying and inspire hugs. In this chapter, I explore what it means to open your heart, why doing so is an act of leadership, how to do it, and why it is difficult to do. Opening your heart to others is both the simplest, most natural thing in the world, and tremendously difficult at the same time. It means sharing a part of ourselves that others will recognize as real and true, and important in a way that feels incredibly vulnerable. Opening your heart is a way of creating and working with the connection between people. Actors have long recognized that the single biggest barrier to achieving the kind of connection that comes from opening your heart is playing status games with each other. The challenge for the leader is to transcend the status game and stop playing it in a way that doesn’t damage their status as a leader. I offer an example of how Frank showed real leadership by overcoming his fear and opening his heart to his employees.



Taylor, S.S. (2014), "Open Your Heart", The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 239-252.



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