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Should leaders learn to love their teams?

March 18, 2021

Businesses are often advised to love their customers. Sir Richard Branson suggests that employees are more important to him than customers. With St Valentine’s Day approaching here are a few thoughts on the role of love in the workplace:

Love is more powerful than hate
Hatred and fear can motivate people to do extraordinary things, as does love. Perhaps better defined as loyalty. The willingness to forgive a colleague, go out on a limb for a team mate and stand by a leader are character traits we privately value more than qualifications and competencies in our colleagues. Are you a leader that fosters loyalty or fear amongst your team?

Love doesn’t have to be romantic
Perhaps one of the reasons we shun the ‘love’ word in the workplace is the association with romance. CS Lewis wrote about 4 types of love. Friendship, affection, unconditional (parent for child) and romantic. Lewis identified that each is important yet all are very different. The love I feel for my brother is very different to the love I have for my wife. Is there room for more friendship and affection in your team?

Breadth versus Depth
Jim Brown argues that “social media can create a society with relationships a mile wide but an inch deep.” A ‘friend’ on Facebook is not the same as the lifelong ‘friend’ we can share our heart with. Are we so busy communicating that we no longer listen deeply?

Tend to the people and they will tend to the business” John Maxwell
Learn to look after your staff first and the rest will follow” Sir Richard Branson
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless” Mother Theresa

For more ideas, see our ‘Tips for Team Motivation’

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