The Greatest Distance for a Person to Travel in the World Is 18 Inches

At HR.com’s LEAD2018 Conference participants were inspired by a rich and dynamic program of motivational speakers. Ashanti Branch, in his discussion, The Mask You Live In, captured the audience with his words: “The greatest distance a person travels in life is 18 inches, the distance from the head to the heart.

Knowing something and committing to it are two different things. The knowing is an intellectual understanding. Transforming that knowledge into reality, however, involves an emotional commitment. Michael Formica writes: “It is not until we feel a thing – moving from the head to the heart – that we become invested in it.”  It is a cerebral digestion that takes place through feeling – from head to heart. Getting there, sometimes, is what makes the distance long.

As an example, Andy Fastow, former Enron CFO, also spoke at the conference on Leading with Ethics. He said that all that he did was reviewed by accountants, lawyers, internal auditors and members of the organization. Everyone agreed that he was following the rules (the ‘head’ at work). He said, however, that at the trial the judge asked him: What you did, was it right? (a question of the ‘heart’). He spent six years in jail – a long distance.

Great leaders embrace the power and gifts that both the head and heart bring to them in serving their organizations and the people whom they serve. They remember, always, the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is total wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart – intelligence and goodness – shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature.” May we build a super highway between them both that mind and heart find the magic and beauty of our greatest thoughts and feelings that we may bring great change to the world and those whom we touch and serve.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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One Response to The Greatest Distance for a Person to Travel in the World Is 18 Inches

  1. Jack Beach says:

    “It is not until we feel a thing – moving from the head to the heart – that we become invested in it.” People will do things out of necessity, because of a sense of duty or obligation–or an ingrained discipline; but their greatest accomplishments occur when they are moved into action by their hearts.

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