If the human soul had a Miracle-Gro or “superfood” it would have to be love. We all share the desire to be and feel loved; in the substance of love is everything we need to stretch, achieve, and become all that we can be.
Love is a leader’s most powerful energy
Love is a competitive advantage, a powerful differentiator, and a leader’s greatest lever for influence.
Love energizes. It acts on compassion and empathy. Love includes and invites. It perceives potential and draws greatness out of people. Love acknowledges and reveals truth. And it perseveres in the face of fear and challenge.
Love is the cornerstone of authentic and inclusive leadership. Every other leadership value finds its truest orientation and expression in the character of love.
Love undergirds our ability to maintain integrity, develop grit, exhibit humility, trust and be trusted, and be in service to those we lead.
Just like flowers need the sun’s life-giving rays to bloom, people need love to flourish.
Leaders transfer love to others through their thoughts, actions, and decisions. The more we create opportunities for them to feel loved, the more they grow in character, capacity, and influence.
So, the million-dollar question is: how do we grow in love?
Holds the universe together
Is our greatest lever for influence
Amplifies every other leadership value and virtue
Is the basis for authentic and inclusive living
Causes all things to prosper and flourish
How do we grow our love for the people we lead?
Quite simply, it starts with us.
There’s a direct correlation between how much we love ourselves and our capacity to love others.
We’re all worthy of love, but we don’t always know it. Many of us think that our achievements make us worthy. As a result, we struggle to accept and love ourselves just as we are – regardless of our successes or failures.
We tell ourselves it’s okay because we’re not denying anyone except ourselves.
But the truth is this:
When we don’t love ourselves it’s much harder to love others. Try as we may, we can only extend as much grace as we’re willing and able to receive. As leaders, we have a responsibility to grow our self-love so that our words, thoughts, and actions overflow with that energy.
Ultimately, growing in love for those we lead means finding ways to love ourselves more authentically and inclusively.