What’s love got to do with it?” sang Tina Turner back in the day. Everything. Especially when you are called upon to lead as a teacher as author Elizabeth Green notes in her book Building a Better Teacher.
The author recalls the advice of a veteran teacher prepping her to teach her first class: “And this maybe the important part. You have to look at them with love in your heart. Once they know you care about them they can relax a lot.”
And no doubt learn more.
Joe Ruhl, a 9th grade biology teacher from Lafayette, IN says “41 years of teaching has taught me a simple truth – that the most powerful motivator in the classroom is a perception on the part of the students that their teacher genuinely cares about them as individuals.”
Caring means he is “passionately committed to the well-being of the other ” as author CS Lewis defined the highest form of love (agape). “I’m not talking of warm, fuzzy, emotional love. I am talking about love that is genuine and – decisional not emotional – and very motivational. And that means you can love your students even when they are not likeable.”
Leading teachers and teaching leaders know the power of love in a business context. That kind of love –committed to the well-being of the other in the classroom or in the boardroom –is genuine and decisional not emotional. That kind of love that puts the other first is well documented in leadership development research.
In fact, love is in the top 10 truths about leadership according to leadership development researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their 2010 book The Truth About Leadership. Moreover, the researchers who have surveyed two million leaders over the last 30 years on key leadership traits note that Love could be considered the No. 1 truth about leadership. Their primary finding:
Leadership is an Affair of the Heart!
“Leaders are in Love with their constituents,The Truth About Leadership, By James Kouzes and Barry Posner
their customers, their clients and the mission they are serving.
Notice the primary focus on constituents. The word sets a tone of interdependence (a.k.a. love). The dictionary says that the word constituents stems from the Latin “statuere” that means to set up or establish. The word constituent means a person who “authorizes another to act on his (or her) behalf.”
That means only your constituents can validate your leadership authority based on your credibility. And that ‘s why Kouzes and Posner state emphatically in their book The Leadership Challenge –that “love is the best kept secret of successful leaders” and “of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting.”
For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics.
It’s titled: LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading.
And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line. The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.
All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading time of a Leadership Mint.
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book
What is a Leadership Mint?
Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.