Leading with the heart

By Darlene Slaughter on September 23, 2014

As I look back on my life and my career, I understand how I ended up working in leadership development and being a Diversity & Inclusion officer (among other roles). And I can trace it all back to when I was a kid.

I guess I’m lucky in that I’ve always had the idea that the “Universe provides” and my experience growing up taught me from a very young age to be compassionate for the struggles that other people encounter because I’ve had them too.

And I bet a lot of people who work in D&I feel the same way. I think people are “called” to work in D&I a bit more than other fields perhaps. It takes courage to have conversations that can honestly be quite difficult sometimes. And it takes compassion and heart to stand with people who don’t have a voice.

The thing that has meant the most to me in my years of working in corporate America—a dog-eat-dog world that’s mostly run by “profits” and the “bottom line”—is the chance to bring my “heart” to work every day. People are often afraid to talk about heartfelt, meaningful stuff at work, but D&I officers talk about that stuff every day! I love helping people step away from the stress and the jargon of the corporate world and listen to the voices of their heart.

The ultimate paradox is, when you touch people’s hearts, when people feel heard, and valued and wanted, the profits take care of themselves.

So let’s hear it. What moves you? Chances are you’re not alone.

Posted in Blog, Inclusive Leadership

About Darlene Slaughter

Darlene Slaughter is a former Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Fannie Mae.
2 comments on “Leading with the heart
  1. Kim Ellis says:

    Wonderful article and I couldn’t agree more with every word. When we lead with the heart, amazing things can happen. Thanks for the reminder and for your hard work in bringing diversity and our hearts to the forefront of corporate America.

    • Darlene says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I wasn’t sure if what I believed would resonate with folks and thank you for confirming that.

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