We are taught that leadership is all about decision-making.
People evaluate your leadership looking to what you have built, launched… It is all about growth and power.
These are important leadership criteria, but too often they eclipse the greatest decision we can make as a leader every day: “I Will LOVE.”
Just reading the word love might send shivers up your spine, and we understand why.
Popular business culture has taught us that love has no place in boardrooms, war rooms, or homerooms driven by metrics, results, and ROIs.
But in a world increasingly attuned to purpose, sustainability, authenticity, and inclusion, we’re here to say just the opposite! The decision to love is a competitive advantage, a powerful differentiator, and a leader’s greatest lever for change.
This begs the question, what is love?
Generations of mystics, philosophers, guides, and even coaches have tried and failed to pin it down to one thing.
Rather than ask “what is love?” perhaps the better question is, “What does it look like?”
How does love move in the world? How does it operate in our teams and families? How does it manifest itself in us?
Love is the most powerful force on the planet. Its energy influences our thoughts, words, actions, and decisions for the good. It moves others to think, feel, and behave in loving, honoring ways.
Love Feels, Then Does
Love starts with no other agenda but the desire to seek the good of others. Acting regardless of personal interest, love stems from compassion and deep gratitude.
Those emotions awaken us to how we can support, guide, and lead others, setting off a virtuous chain reaction in our relationships.
Love Includes and Invites
We are creatures who crave connection. Love answers this call with actions that strive to heal, connect, and unify others. Love is an inviting force that inspires others to participate in a cause much bigger than themselves.
Love Sees Potential
Desiring the good for someone often takes seeing the good that is unrealized in them. Love sees who we are capable of being before we see it ourselves. It calls us up and out of comfort or complacency so we can be and do better. It speaks to the “what could be” whisper in our hearts.
Love Acknowledges and Reveals
The writer and social critic James Baldwin once said of his role as an artist, “… If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” The same can be said for the role of the loving leader.
Love demands that we acknowledge and reveal the truth about ourselves. The more conscious we are, the abler we are to make loving and self-honoring choices. We hold a person in high regard when to invite them to expand their consciousness so that they can experience more love and make better choices from that place.
Love is such an abundant force, that it doesn’t fear lack. It is a bottomless reservoir that leaders can access to press on when adversaries are relentless and change seems impossible. Love fades in when everything else fades away.