Managing From the Heart

Bill Bispeck
3 min readSep 4, 2023

People bring relationship to our lives and the opportunity to express our emotions and to connect on a spiritual plane.

The world would be a lot simpler if human beings weren’t around, right? Well, that may be so, but then again it might be pretty boring. People bring relationships to our lives and the opportunity to express our emotions and to connect on a spiritual plane. The dessert island experience as depicted in the Tom Hanks movie, “Cast Away”, shows us how much we need social interaction and companionship for a healthy and fulfilling life. But at the same time, relating with people can present formidable challenges in our daily existence, especially in the work place. The book, Managing From the Heart, written by a team of experts from the Atlanta Consulting Group, Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford, and Roy Trueblood, provides some interesting lessons in developing healthier relationships in human affairs.

The lessons are explained through a fictional tale about a crusty old plant manager named Harry Hartwell. The problem is that Harry’s heart is not so well. He has a fatal heart attack, goes up to heaven, and through an encounter with an angel is given a chance to go back to earth and make things right. He learns a new way to lead people that establishes a norm of love and kindness in human transactions. What a novel idea!

The angel confronts Harry and says to him, “Imagine for a moment,…. without objecting or arguing, that the purpose of life is spiritual growth and learning, particularly learning about loving. In those terms, Harry Hartwell, your life has reached a dead end. You are doing the same things over and over. At work you are intimidating and frustrating each new group of managers. Your family life has a rigid, set pattern. Nothing is changing. You might as well be dead.” — from Managing From the Heart, pg. 192.

Talk about getting hit between the eyes, this strikes old Harry Hartwell to the core. The book goes on to tell the story about how Harry comes back to life and develops a whole new approach to leadership based on five key principles or five requests that everyone at work makes of you.

Managing From the Heart is a must read for every leader wanting to make a gut check on their leadership style and wanting to stimulate a lively discussion and self evaluation in their leadership team.