The Story of Becoming a Chief Heart Officer

by | Feb 21, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

We have all been there. You know the moment when you meet someone for the first time and they ask, What do you do? I enjoy the look of bewilderment I get when I tell people I am a Chief Heart Officer. Their heads will cock to the side, and they will respond, You’re a what? LOL. I will admit I love this title and I feel like I have the coolest job. This role is perfectly aligned with what I believe about organizational success and my life purpose.

So how did this all start? One day Brian Kempisty, Founder of Port X Logistics forwarded a LinkedIn post written by Claude Silver, the original Chief Heart Officer (CHO). Claude was writing about her position as CHO and how she served as the heartbeat of Vayner Media. As I reflected on her role and my coaching style, I quickly realized I too was more than a leadership coach. I was a Chief Heart Officer, guiding leaders to lead with heart, love, and compassion. I strongly believe in having a culture that takes care of the people first.

After discussing this article with Brian Kempisty, he assigned me with the title and I have served as the Chief Heart Officer of Port X Logistics for the last four years. When I began my work with Port X Logistics, I was their Executive Leadership Coach, but my role quickly transformed when I started providing coaching to the entire organization. Currently, I provide leadership coaching but also support and inspiration to the entire team.

In its essence being a CHO  means I take care of the people, mind, body, and spirit ensuring each team member has a positive and successful experience. When people feel supported, heard, and have a safe space to share thoughts and feelings they become more productive and happier. After introducing the CHO way of leadership, Port X’s culture began to thrive.

The role of a Chief Heart Officer is a modern position created to ignite healthy, long-term success in the workplace. As CHO  I ensure the organizational culture operates in a healthy and productive way. I do this by working directly with every team member in every position to generate a tranquil flow of communication through positivity and support. I help to sustain the organizational culture by continuously bringing everyone back to the foundational strategies.

My coaching process is not typical. Each session is unique, and I meet each person where they are, while reminding them of the organizational story and why the culture exists. It is not unusual for employees to become disengaged from their work. The daily demands and life stressors will cause them to disconnect from their own life purpose and why they do what they do. It is important to guide people back to the basics.  

Employee expectations have become more demanding. Life has become unpredictable and in general, people are feeling more pressure. This is where I support and coach them. I remind them of the meaning and purpose of their work. I reconnect them to their own personal “why” and the importance of their contribution.

We talk about personal stories and the influence of values and beliefs. We put things into perspective.  I help people to realize their strengths while reconnecting them with their goodness. The result is a feeling of joy and satisfaction. I do not use KPIs (key performance indicators) or formalized coaching practices. Nothing about my style is cookie cutter. I connect with the humanness of each individual and guide them on their unique journey. 

My role as the CHO ensures the culture is thriving in all aspects. Including holding people accountable for the execution of organizational initiatives and creating collaborative connections between team members. The CHO is the guide that leads all team members to carry out the organization’s vision and mission. I believe in focusing on the people first, and the profits will follow.

As a leader of an organization would ever consider a Chief Heart Officer to help guide your employees and team members? Respond below and share your thoughts.

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Dr Dionne Kress

Dr. Dionne Kress

Welcome. I’m grateful your quest led you here. I’m Dr. Dionne Kress, a professionally trained leadership coach, therapist and business expert, successfully working to transcend leaders and their teams.

My mission is to reveal the bolder, stronger leader living within. I’ve built a successful practice and leadership model for top executives and their teams so these clients can live a more purposeful and impactful life.

I can’t wait to meet with you. Let’s set up a complimentary consultation to talk more about your customized experience.

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