Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Love in a Business Context

Heightened awareness. That’s what love is in a business context, notes Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has conducted more than 25 years of research on positive emotions.

In her book LOVE 2.0, Fredrickson notes that when humans are in love, they reach out for something beyond their own “cocoon of self- interest” and become more aware of others. They become more likely to focus on the needs, wants and concerns of others and to see things from another’s perspective.

“The best kept secret of successful leaders is love”

Focusing on others is so intensive for the most effective leaders that “the best-kept secret of successful leaders is love.”

That’s the conclusion of researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their seminal book The Leadership Challenge. Their research is based on more than two million interviews and surveys over the last 30 years with leaders all over the world.

And that secret is also the key to sustaining long-term leadership success add Kouzes and Posner: “Of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting.”

When a leader is in love with the process of leading, he or she has “the fire to ignite other people, see inside other people, and have a greater desire to get things done,” noted John H. Stanford, a former Major General in the United States Army, cited in The Leadership Challenge.

Psychologists tell us that love is a behavior more than simply a feeling, a behavior that champions others, a behavior that validates the dignity and worth of another human being, and a behavior that compels you to hate the sin but love the sinner.

Loving others in a business context –with a heightened sense of awareness — is so vital – that Kouzes and Posner flatly state in their bible of leadership development (The Leadership Challenge) that:

“Leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart.”

For more information on how you can positively impact your bottom line with love in a business context (empathy), purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) on 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

 

 

 

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Defining Love in a Business Context

(Excerpt from newly published book LOVING Like a Leader, By Peter Jeff. Available on Amazon.com, $15 paperback, $8 e-Book.)

Heightened awareness.

That’s what love is in a business context, notes Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has conducted more than 25 years of research on positive emotions. In her book LOVE 2.0, Fredrickson notes that when humans are in love, they reach out for something beyond their own “cocoon of self- interest” and become more aware of others. They become more likely to focus on the needs, wants and concerns of others and to see things from another’s perspective.

“The best-kept secret
of successful leaders is love.

Small wonder that “the best-kept secret of successful leaders is love,” observe researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their seminal book The Leadership Challenge based on more than two million interviews and surveys over the last 30 years with leaders all over the world. “Of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting,” add Kouzes and Posner.

When a leader is in love with the process of leading, he or she has “the fire to ignite other people, see inside other people, to have a greater desire to get things done,” noted John H. Stanford, a former Major General in the United States Army, cited in The Leadership Challenge.

Love in this business context spotlights the humanity of the individual to “experience another human being in his (or her) very uniqueness,” according to Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist and author of Man’s Search for Meaning. “By his love he (or she) is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person.”

Maybe that’s why philosopher Milton Mayeroff defines love as “the selfless promotion of the growth of others.” Author James Hunter defines love in a business context as “extending yourself to help others” in his book, World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle.

And one of the 30 definitions of love in the dictionary says love is the “affectionate concern for the well-being of others.” Psychologists tell us that love is a behavior more than simply a feeling, a behavior that champions others, a behavior that validates the dignity and worth of another human being, a behavior that compels you to hate the sin but love the sinner.

That’s why the last sentence in the bible of leadership development, The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, summarize that:

“Leadership is not
an affair of the head.
Leadership is
an affair of the heart.”

       As an affair of the heart in helping others grow and development, love in a business context is what the bible calls “charity” and the Greeks called agape.  That focus on the soul of a person validates one’s humanity and fills the essence of his or her well-being. In loving others in a business context, a leader’s agape is:

More Meaningful
than obligatory (storge/family)

More Reinforcing
than self-serving (philia/friends)

More Sustaining
than erotic (eros/sexual partners)

More Persuasive
than playful (ludus/flirting)

More Flourishing
than fleeting (pragma/long-lasting marriages)

And love (agape) in a business context is more focused on growing the bottom line through the growth of others. To get ahead leaders first help others get ahead. With love.

LOVING Like a Leader

Designed as a handy reference tool on leadership principles and as an on-going, convenient professional development conversation starter for a leader and his or her staff,  LOVING Like a Leader is  comprised of 77 short stories called Leadership Mints. Sweetened with insights from 77-plus other books on leadership, these Leadership Mints define and leverage emotional intelligence in general and love in a business context in particular for greater productivity,   profitability and sustainability. Like a candy mint, these Leadership Mints are quickly accessed, easily digested and immediately reinvigorating.