In business I feel we don’t like to talk about the heart because it is difficult to rationalise around a board table or with the boys in the warehouse. It can be difficult to articulate matters of the heart. Our inability to express feelings means we often brush over them. When Tom Cruise played Jerry Maguire, he represented a character torn between his intellect and his feelings. He didn’t want to allow his heart to direct him because he was so used to being the ‘shark in the suit’. The moral lesson of the film came when he allowed himself to feel how his customers felt and opened his heart and his mind to changing his life. It is a wonderful movie and a great life lesson.
The huge learning lesson for Jerry the money hungry sales agent was that people mattered. It wasn’t about the profits or the size of the business, it was about personal relationships. When Jerry sat in his hotel room feverishly typing out his mission statement on his laptop he learnt the greatest lesson. The revelation to his heart after he had he lost all of his clients except one was that people mattered the most.
It was that one client who actually taught him the lesson that the key to business is personal relationships. Interestingly enough the change didn’t take place until he embraced this thinking at a heart level. Coincidentally the growth and the profits followed after he made the greatest investment of all. My assumption on Jerry Maguire and life in general is that that the greatest investment in life is thinking at heart level. Don’t get me wrong, we need our brains and hearts to work together. They need each other every day to do life. Sometimes the priorities get mixed up.
Jerry had a revelation when the words of his mission statement became real to him. It was almost as if the words leapt from his laptop to his heart. Feeling for his customers’ welfare and seeing them as more than a number made a difference in the way he thought about them and saw them.
Thinking about doing life and business from the heart changes your perspective. Suddenly you find yourself considering new opportunities that could make a difference not only to you but the world around you. If you think about it, the desire to provide great customer service or care for others in your team is an intrinsic thing. We can all be encouraged by great leadership and a strong culture however I believe we all need to have a genuine inner desire before we start to change and make a lasting contribution to others. I believe it all starts with you and me and it starts in the heart.