Love: What’s it got to do with Leadership?

Lead with Love

Leaders and love go together. As a leader, do you love your followers?

Love is Critical to Successful Leadership

Love may seem like a “soft” concept because it is not a tangible skill.  To the contrary, love is a strong, influential, and powerful aspect of leadership. Expressed in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances, it is a key to successful leadership. A former player for football coach Vince Lombardi shared this sentiment about him: “I have never been so loved by someone outside my family. We all knew he would do anything for us…anything. We would go through walls for this man.” Coach Lombardi balanced his drive to win with unmistakable love. In doing this, Lombardi earned the right to drive his players hard.  When you practice love, you are taking actions, which result in positive influences in peoples’ lives.

Love: Right Action at the Right Time for the Right Reasons

We may think of good leaders as individuals who rise above difficult emotional issues, feelings, and controversial situations. Good leaders keep an even keel of stability while effectively directing the way forward for followers. However, sometimes the appearance of  “rising above it all” can actually be avoidance of details or conflict. How can leaders keep a big picture in view while choosing the right action, right time, and right reason to address specific issues? Here’s how:

Love Looks beyond Self

First, lead yourself well. As a confident, self-aware person, you can look beyond yourself to see the global view of happenings around you. This includes your closest family, friends to your casual acquaintances and your employees. Next, discern situations at these different levels of relationship. Not every issue needs the same type of attention from you.

Love Makes Appropriate Choices

Finally, choose actions that are appropriate for the time and relationship. The outcome? You demonstrate love to those around you that is actually tailored to each person. People know that you have considered them and cared for them. Mutual respect, relationships, and work productivity grow in a healthy way. Great results are possible!

As a Leader, Will You Love?

Love—will you practice this value in the leader/follower relationships in your life today? Believe me, it’s worth it. As author Franklin P. Jones puts it, “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”