The principles of leadership require a LEAP of faith to promote love as a business driver. I will tell you that when love and business are combined, the results are just “damn good.”
Strange combination? No room for love in the hard, cold world of profit-driven business? Well, what drives business? It’s people. And what drives people? Doing what they love to do. Being accepted, recognized, rewarded and… dare I say, loved along the way?
Sharing the love is a leadership principle I believe in and a leadership development strategy I have shared with many business professionals who want to help their teams achieve greatness. I have helped them develop and improve leadership skills in ways they never considered important.
The formula has worked for me over the years in helping people unlock their innate leadership skills, by being transparent and authentic and by expressing the love and care they have for others. As a leadership keynote speaker, I’ve had the privilege to present the idea that both love and business are critical components for high performing business success.
I can also help you learn this formula with my leadership development coaching program. In my program, I get deeply personal and equip you and your team with the leadership development skills to adapt your mindset and expand your influence to increase productivity, job satisfaction, and personal fulfillment.
What Is a Leadership Development Strategy?
It’s time to toss aside the touchy-feely notions of love in business and recognize the real power it holds. Love is not only appropriate in the context of business, it’s necessary. Love is the foundation of a great leadership development strategy. It is the engine that drives a thriving, competitive enterprise. Always lead with love.
Leaders often don’t prioritize love as a business concept because love isn’t something they can measure. But love isn’t just a feeling. It’s an overt expression. It’s an act or a series of acts that express a feeling of caring and wanting success for someone else.
It’s putting in that extra time to carefully address concerns on a customer call. It’s staying late to help a teammate finish a critical RFP. It’s having faith in an employee to make a tough corporate decision related to their skillset. It’s love-oriented action in all its forms and examples of a winning leadership development framework.
You can’t develop excellent leadership skills when you think love has no place in business or business is brutal and that decisions should be driven primarily by logic. A lot of leadership is based on intuition, not logic.
Great leaders take bold action and make quick decisions without all the information to know if they will be correct or not. So, how can they be logical? They feel the right decision. They have self-love and confidence. They feel that whatever they decide, it will help the right people and make the business better.
You may agree with this idea, in principle at least. Who says ‘no’ to caring for other people? My leadership development framework is based on showing you care.
What is your experience where you work? Do you and other leaders demonstrate this love and caring for your teammates? Or do you reject the very idea of building them up and giving them the freedom to carry the ball over the goal line? Do you give them the power to call the plays as they see them? Or do you hoard those decisions and that power for yourself because you fear that others might make a mistake and you will get the blame?
Taking a chance on others can lead to some short-term problems, a bump in the road, or a tackle just short of the goal line, but you have more than one play. If you believe in the process, you believe in your team. You believe that love is the baseline and the driver of ultimate success, higher revenues, and personal satisfaction. Leadership team development is all about encouragement, empowerment and support.
Love is a necessity. It drives energy for leaders to reach out, involve, and empower others to reach their own goals and help their company become winners. Learn more about the impact of love in business in my book Love Is Just Damn Good Business. Because it is.
Principles for Developing Powerful Leadership
Through my experiences in coaching hundreds of business professionals and leaders in a wide variety of disciplines, I have developed a model of Extreme Leadership called LEAP. It stands for Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof. It’s a leadership development framework that gives you and your company that elusive competitive edge and it starts with love. You can learn more about LEAP in my video.
Many people consider the emotion of love as out of place or simply inappropriate in the world of business, but the best chemistry that leaders can have with their followers is one that they care and share.
Love provides a timeless competitive advantage. When love is part of an organization’s leadership development framework, employees and customers feel genuinely valued.
Good business people put their hearts into their work. When we show love, when we demonstrate appreciation and it is reflected back to us.
A team member who feels loved by their manager is significantly more likely to see all company executives as good leaders. Love changes the company culture.
Love generates a culture where employees are more loyal, innovative, creative, and inspired. Feeling self-fulfilled, they are more likely to do their best work – to produce the products and services that your customers will love.
As a result, customers reciprocate with their loyalty, referrals, and, of course, money.
Leading with love generates energy and it is something that you can’t fake.
As a leader, you can take time to reflect: do your behaviors and attitudes put positive energy into the people around you? Do you show interest in their projects? Are you a cheerleader for them?
Great leaders don’t just motivate people. They provide energizing experiences that enable people to tap into their visionary capacities. Energized people are self-motivated to overachieve.
Powerful leadership plugs people into ever more powerful energy sockets and makes them emotionally energized. They have their own juice, their own enthusiasm.
Top-performing organizations have more positive energizers than other organizations. In other words, a great leader should not only seek to identify and hire positive energizers, but they should develop them.
In an environment energized by the right leadership, this positive energy brings hidden strengths out of the organization: seeing more, learning more, and doing more. Energized people want to do more, come up with new ideas, solve old problems, lead the team charge up the hill.
Energy inspires courageous audacity and the willingness to take purposeful risks to guide us to a better existence.
A great business leader knows that taking risks is the only way to get better and stronger, to get from where you are to where you want to be.
In business, if you’re standing still, you’re being left behind. Even in uncertain business situations when a pivot is the only option to save the business, only people with an audacity that is rooted in love and courage can make it.
Showing your action to make a difference in business leads the employees to do the same thing. It makes them audacious, too. It empowers them to do more than just think outside the box. It gets them to say, “what box?” By developing leadership skills, you can teach them to ask this question.
All leaders lead by their example and it’s no different for Extreme Leaders who must exemplify the adoption of each of these principles and prove themselves through significant, observable, daily action.
Do you say you love your team? Prove it! Do you say you need to be bold and inventive for your customers? Prove it! Do you tell your team that they’re your most important asset? Prove it and prove it again in every action that you take every day.
You make promises. Do you keep them? You set rules. Do you follow them yourself? Saying and doing what you say you will do every time shows a consistency that is proof of you being authentic and believable, which are important traits for a leader who always leads with love.
Showing proof can generate trust from employees, make them see your efforts and visions are worthwhile and walk with you to make it come true. Trust generates loyalty from employees and customers. That translates to more business. Damn good business is repeat business, referrals, and of course, money.
Leading with Love
Loving what you do, the people you lead and the people you serve, is a critical foundation for great leadership and success in business.
As a leader, it makes you understand how to bring out the best in people at a deeper level. Leadership team development is about freeing people from traditional constraints and enabling them to blossom.
Research shows that people who work in a culture where they feel free to express affection, tenderness, care, and compassion for one another are more satisfied with their jobs, committed to the organization, and have better work performance.
Join Me on the Extreme Leadership Journey
Leadership is a journey. It’s a journey of discovery, of learning about yourself and how you need to think and act, and what (and who) you need to believe in. You could probably use a little leadership development coaching to get you started on this journey. I can show you how to improve your leadership skills so the benefits LEAP out from within your organization.
I’ve been a keynote speaker at many leadership conferences where I addressed ambitious Fortune 500 employees who wanted to learn how to become Extreme Leaders. Their curiosity quickly turned into eager anticipation to go back to their organizations and share the love. You can learn what I discussed with them and how to succeed in business with love in your own organization so you too are eager to jump in and make powerful changes.
Contact me today to join this important dialogue and change the culture of your organization permanently for the better.