The Power of Heart First Authenticity

What David Grossman taught me about a new level of inspired and authentic leadership, the “Heart First” approach.

By: Dani Raskin

DALLAS- After picking up the Organizational & Community Leadership minor, I grew a deep interest in  employee engagement, company culture and organizational development. I have had the chance to do deep dives into organizations and evaluate their leadership, values and framework. 

I eagerly signed up for the session titled “The Power of Heart First Authenticity,” at ICON. I was captivated by the title and the description of the session, but was blown away after the session.

David Grossman is an award-winning leadership and communications expert as well an advisor, CEO and author who helps organizations get the results they want through strategic leadership development and internal communication consultancy. Grossman coined the term “Heart First” leadership, which is all about leading with humanity. This concept is based on the outward focus on others, authenticity and empathy.

As he was presenting, I was thinking back to my courses and the organizations I looked into. It was clear which organizations were using this method and which were not. Those that know how to lead with more heart and more humanity, are those who run more successful organizations with less turnover.

David Grossman was able to connect the Heart First approach to his personal life. His story was truly inspiring. He feels his best when using his heart and being his authentic self. He has dedicated his life to helping others feel that same way.

He provided us with the three steps to “Heart First” leadership. 

  1. Know Yourself
    1. Listen to that inner voice
    2. Get to know your leadership style
    3. Make a list of people you admire who lead with their heart
  2. Be Your Best Self
    1. What are your values? 
    2. Talk out loud (allows you to self correct)
  3. Have Quiet Courage
    1. Listen to others
    2. Communicate in a way where others can hear you
    3. Empathize and express compassion (everyone has a story)

I had many key takeaways from this presentation. A few being: Embrace who you are – our imperfections create connections with others, focus on what you can control, and don’t follow someone else’s path – you always have choices.

I can’t wait to read more about this leadership style in Heart First by David Grossman. 

Thank you so much to David & ICON for this amazing session!


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