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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 168 : Paul Haury on Moving Forward with Heart Based Leading

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Paul Haury is the founder of Heart Based Leading. Today, Paul will share how people-focused investing is the key to an organization’s success and what it means to make happiness as your choice to move forward. Today, Paul will share how people-focused investing is the key to an organization’s success and what it means to make happiness as your choice to move forward.

Successes at a glance:

  1. Former school teacher turned IT professional, now leadership consultant and advocate for heart based leadership.

  2. Founder of Heart Based Leading, where he works with leaders and organizations to cultivate heart based leadership and an environment of happiness.

Paul’s story:

Paul started out his career as a teacher, teaching US and Washington state history. One of the problems Paul observed was the demerit system in the school which created an atmosphere of fear. Paul had a crisis of conscience, wondering how he was going to learn to be a good teacher. Paul went to the dean of the school and asked: “what do you expect me to learn?” The dean challenged Paul by asking in response, “are you learning what not to do?” and “are you having fun with the kids.” Paul realized what was important was to be caring for his students. One Paul made this discovery and applied it, his students responded really well. By simply being present and devoted to his students, he inspired them to put their all into learning. Paul loved teaching and intended to continue this as his life’s work. However, while Paul loved the students, the politics of academia dragged him down. Then, one day, Paul was rock climbing with a friend who made him an offer to come on board his company as the head of IT. While IT is normally thought of as a tech space, Paul decided to bring his heart based approach to the position. In doing so, Paul’s goal was to make technology work for the people and make their lives easier and more fun. Fast forward to last year: the company was undergoing thru some changes and Paul was at a crossroads. He thought about going to another company but decided to take the entrepreneurial route. Paul sold a rental house he owned and used the proceeds to start Heart Based Leading.

Paul’s big why:

Attending to the heart first in everything we do. Paul points out that we are emotional first, rational second. Understanding this can help inform leaders to make better decisions and create work environments where employees thrive and do amazing things.

Biggest challenge today:

Recently, Paul completed a 9-month executive coaching program. Paul went thru it, intending to learn what an executive goes thru when they’re being coached. Instead, the program turned out to be a great benefit to Paul as he discovered that he loves the coaching process. Paul has also been working with a coach who has helped him understand his own vulnerabilities and insecurities (we all have them) so that he can move forward.

Moving forward past that challenge:

Keep the focus in this order: people, purpose, pay. When Paul is feeling vulnerable, he makes sure he connects with people to take down those walls, “brick by brick.” Paul shares this amazing piece of knowledge: we’re all sliding scales between being completely insecure about who we are and being able to take on the world. Recognizing this and connecting with people who feel the same way is how we can all take steps to move forward. Paul reminds us that others around us will recognize wonderful things we are doing that we often fail to notice ourselves. That’s why it’s important to be part of communities, filled with supportive and caring people. For Paul and myself, the Winnie Sun tweet chat is a wonderful place for this.

Knowledge bursts:

  1. Happiness as a choice:

  2. It is a choice but you have to realistically come to your own heart and with your emotions in a healthy way.

  3. Happiness is also a discipline. It’s part and parcel of the choices we make when facing difficult situations.

  4. Favorite tool or productivity practice:

  5. Paul has his own personal “Kobayashi Maru” – the test from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is a simulation of a “no win scenario.” In the film, Admiral Kirk reveals that when he took the test as a cadet, he changed the rules so he could win. Paul’s takeaway from that is to always find things you can appreciate during tough times.

  6. Paul recommends ‘The Happiness Advantage’ by Shawn Achor, as a great practical primer.

  7. How Paul is moving forward today:

  8. Doing this podcast: Paul initially questioned whether he was worthy to do this, see-sawing between “yes, I’m changing the world” to feeling self-conscious.

Support the Podcast:

  1. The Corporate Cliches Adult Coloring Book: makes the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.

  2. Try out Audible (affiliate link).

  3. Try out Amazon Prime (affiliate link).

Who is Paul in five years?:

Paul will be giving a TED talk about how our emotions work with our neurochemistry and how that can really change the rest of world. Second, Paul wants to have an office in India. Paul helped his former company open a subsidiary in the country and he wants to spread the message of heart based leading there. Finally, Paul wants to have a drink with Richard Branson. Paul is a big fan of Richard’s book, ‘The Virgin Way’, and how Richard has bucked the system, choosing to focus on the happiness of his employees.

Parting wisdom:

“Be a CEO: curious, empathetic, and optimistic. Do this toward yourself and those around you.“

Connect with Paul:

  1. Heart Based Leading

  2. Twitter

  3. LinkedIn

  4. Facebook

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