Not Just Loving What They Do For You
Love in the Workplace
If you’re looking for advice on workplace romance, this isn’t it.
We’re talking about leadership, so let’s see the connection between leadership and love.
Since both words have numerous definitions, let’s clarify the definitions we’re using here:
Leadership: Helping others reach their full potential. See https://enlumenls.com/defining-leadership-success/ and numerous other articles on this site for a fuller understanding of leadership. If you’re seeking your personal success and the success of your organization, the best way to achieve those is to focus on the success of those you depend on to make them happen.
Love: Making choices to put the good of another ahead of our own. Although many uses of the word “love” emphasize emotions, recognizing love as a choice that results in actions (and sometimes feelings also) puts it into the realm of something we control rather than something that happens to us. I find that to be a far more meaningful use of the word.
The other-centric nature of both words creates a hand-in-glove fit, even in the workplace.
The Foundation for Workplace Love
If one is truly to succeed in leading a person to a specific place, one must first and foremost take care to find him where he is and begin there.
Soren Kierkegaard, The Point of View For My Work As An Author.
Kierkegaard’s counsel informs us as loving leaders that we should work (i.e. put in the necessary effort!) to discern the reality of where each of our followers is currently in their personal and professional development. We must meet them there and not expect them to meet us where we are or where we want them to be.
Kierkegaard also mentions leading them to a specific place. We may know where we want to lead them, but do we know where they want to go? If we don’t desire a shared destination, neither of us is likely to help the other get there. That’s why sharpening our hiring skills is important so that we hire people who are aligned in purpose and values. Skillfully casting a clear, inspirational vision for where we’re going is key to helping us mutually discern whether we can successfully journey together.
Personal sacrifice for the other’s good is foundational to love and good leadership. It starts with a sacrifice of the time and energy it takes to invest in their success. That can be a risky investment. Sometimes we’ll invest and they’ll leave before we get a return. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we’re doing a good job of honing our leadership skills, the net return on our investments in others will climb despite some setbacks. People who are being led well become fiercely loyal.
Faking it will backfire sooner or later. Actually caring about those we lead gets the desired results. If you’re only using them for your own success, you’re neither a leader nor a lover.
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