Craig Groeschel: Heart Over Head

Published August 13, 2019


Leading Yourself
The following are notes from Craig Groeschel’s closing talk at #GLS19. Use them to help you apply the content you learned at the Summit.


The power of emotions in leadership.

  • As a leader, to really move you, you have to connect with your heart not just your head
  • The best leaders don’t let emotions interfere with business
  • Emotions are not only relevant but the catalyst to change and growth
  • The fastest way to change someone’s mind is to connect with their heart


Information: Here’s what I want people to know.

Action: Here’s what I want people to do.


  • Knowledge alone rarely leads to action
  • Knowledge leads to conclusions
  • Emotions lead to actions
  • Don’t change the message but the method in which we reach people


As leaders, how do we create the emotion that moves people to action?


1. Share Stories Purposefully

  • Stories stick, facts fade
  • People are processing what you say with one of two processors in their brain
    • Emotional Processor: Automatic and unconscious
    • Logical Processor: Control, conscious, functions slower and takes more focus
  • When you use a story, you connect the heart of emotions to the strength of logic igniting a powerful action


Simon Sinek quote: “People work for a what, but they’ll give their lives for a why.”



How do you do this?
Share stories purposefully.


2. Choose Words Deliberately

  • The words you choose determine the emotions people feel
  • Vision of values help drive culture that should be burned on our hearts not words on a wall
  • If your vision doesn’t inspire you, if your values don’t scare you or move you, they’re too dull, small and safe
  • The power of words, create emotions around values


3. Show Vulnerability Thoughtfully

  • You can do it irresponsibly
  • We may impress people with our strength, but we connect through our weakness
  • The moment you slow down and open up, you’re engaged on a whole new level
  • Your heart bonds and there’s a real power and connection
  • Show people what’s in your heart and what you value
  • Help people know who you are
  • Lead with vision
  • Lead with boldness
  • Lead with vulnerability


How do we do this? Instruction in Craig’s podcast episode 51 and 53.


  • Don’t feel pressured to know it all
  • People want to follow a leader who’s than one who’s always right
  • What had been stuck and stagnant came back to life
  • You’re capable, you’re called, you’re gifted, you’re a masterpiece


Do what leaders do: Step into your calling and embrace your mission.


  • Our world needs bold leaders
  • Lead with profound humility and cast a vision for a brighter future
  • Strive for excellence
  • Confront injustice and right wrongs
  • Everyone wins when the leader gets better
  • Create, inspire, innovate
  • Empower people to make a difference in the world.


You are a leader. You have influence.



Click here to view the homepage of the GLS19 Session Notes.

About the Author
Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel

Founder & Senior Pastor


Globally recognized as a leader of leaders, Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church, rated the #1 place to work in 2021 for small and mid-size companies by Glassdoor. Known for their missional approach to leveraging the latest technology, Life.Church is the innovative creator of the YouVersion Bible App—downloaded more than a half a billion times worldwide. In 2020, Life.Church provided free tools to thousands of churches who quickly transitioned to a virtual church experience in the wake of the global health pandemic. Traveling the world on behalf of The Global Leadership Summit, Groeschel advocates for building leaders in every sector of society. He is also the host of the top-ranked Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. A New York Times best-selling author, his latest book is  Lead Like It Matters

Years at GLS 2008, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

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