They say, "It’s a dog-eat-dog world". They say, "You gotta fight your way to the top". "It is every man for himself,” they say. Who is this They? You know what I say?:
But seriously, this conflict, aggression-based narrative is the foundation for our caffeine-addicted, wine-guzzling, med-dependent culture on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown. (Note: I say this with love, compassion, and zero judgment). The drive to make something of ourselves is profound and real, but browbeating, oppression, and keeping one’s boot on another's neck has rarely been the most effective motivational tool. While history teaches us it can be effective in the short term, that model breaks down over the long haul.
What opportunities would arise if we operated out of love rather than anger, conflict, and fear? To be sure, love warrants strong boundaries and clear expectations, but how would we approach leadership in the context of love? Would we assume a struggling employee is a whole person who does care and isn’t inherently useless? Would we see them as needing support, training, guidance, or reassignment? What if we chose to see commonalities with Betty or Bob on the 6th floor rather than calling them blowhards who complain endlessly? These aren’t earth-shattering revelations, but they are potentially life-changing.
The simple choice to abandon destructive motivations that separate and move towards building and connecting is profound, and it can have a lasting impact. This choice may not always play out as you hope, but the shift will produce a far healthier outcome.
For those who’ve spent a lifetime in self-preservation mode, this shift can be frightening and difficult to navigate, going against the training we were indoctrinated in. However, the rewards are exponential, not only for you but for those you lead. In fact, this is what Energy Leadership is all about. Does it make me a hippie? No. It makes me an Executive Coach with 3 professional certifications who is very clear about the power of leading with love.
This is the stuff of goal-achieving, expectation-exceeding, community-building that turns dreams into reality. So, go get ‘em, killer! Lead with love.
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