Invest Your Heartbeats Wisely: Practical, Philosophical, and Principled Leadership Concepts for Business and Life
April 04, 2016
Theo Etzel talks about how to invest our own hearbeats more wisely, and how to lead others to do the same.
There has been a trend lately in the books we've been giving away in which authors, or the businesspeople they feature in their books, credit their mothers with imparting the best business lessons they've learned in life. This makes sense, in that the best life lessons often come from those that gave us life, and the best life lessons are usually the the best business lessons, to boot. Theo Etzel's new book takes its very title from something his mother told him: “Son, spend you heartbeats wisely.” The book, Invest Your Heartbeats Wisely: Practical, Philosophical, and Principled Leadership Concepts for Business and Life, argues that, in business as in life, "Making a successful investment requires more than dollars and cents." It requires time and attention, measured out in our heartbeats.
It is apparent from the beginning of the book that Mr. Etzel is a devout man, and he is open and upfront about his deep and abiding belief in God. He even has a chapter at the end of the book devoted to (and entitled) Biblical Principals, but it's clear from the very start that all of his guidelines are grounded in his faith.
There is a heavy dose of humility in him, combined with a deep and clear-eyed conviction, and that is what he bases his leadership approach on. That approach is perhaps best summed up in five "tried-and-true tips" he himself relies on:
- Be yourself.
- Don’t call yourself the boss.
- Don’t lead with fear.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Motivate; don’t dictate.
It is with those things in mind that Etzel has found he invests his heartbeats most wisely, and grown the HVAC company Conditioned Air from a $2.7 million operation to a $45 million organization over the last twenty years. Embedded in those principles is the idea that, as a leader, it's not just your own heartbeats you must be conscious of. You must be aware that customers are spending their heartbeats with you, and measure them with respect. You must be aware that your employees are at their best when you allow them to fully invest their heartbeats in their work, and that you must mentor and motivate them to do so by giving them a sense of purpose and ownership over the work. Expounding upon how the advice to "motivate, don't dictate" helps in that, Etzel writes:
If you dictate to your employees what they should do and how they should do it, if you micromanage and simply expect them to obey without thought, your employees may do what you tell them, but their hearts won’t be in it. They’ll only invest the heartbeats necessary to get the job done to its minimum requirements and move on to the next assignment.
However, if you motivate them, give them a purpose within the company, and allow them a personal stake in the work, they will shine. They’ll work harder because they have a reason other that being told to work. They’ll work more carefully and invest more of their heartbeats to meet their own career goals, which when they are aligned with the company’s goals … benefits everyone.
It is a mindset that he brings to his job and instills throughout the company he leads. If you would like to learn more of Theo Etzel's "practical, philosophical, and principled leadership concepts for business and life," we have 20 copies available.