Love to lead or lead to love. 3 points to convince you that love is also practical.
Believe or not, “leadership love” is a real phenomenon and actually a christian notion found in 1 Corinthians 13 (as in the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible). Long story short — it connotes that a true leader should love the ones he leads. Simple, right? It is also a notion where leaders excerpt and maintain а foundation of character and of integrity. Building relationships on trust and mutual understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, solidarity and magnanimity…the true christian virtues from Sunday school!
II. The Psychology
These effective love-leadership traits where depicted some 2000 years ago and modern science has even labeled those traits — feminine (nothing sexists here I promise). Interestingly, Geert Hofstede ( Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies on national values, introducing the dimension concept, a world famous sociologist and anthropologist) allocated feminine traits in social norms, for instance, as orientation towards relationships or importance of people and quality of life. Where as on the other side, the masculine side, aspects as ego driven morality, money and power are of primal importance. The point here, leadership of love evokes a gentle approach towards leading people. It is about continuous development of people and open heartedness. It is believed that love leadership benefits the people, the leader himself and the organisation. One might understand the love leadership management style as the hippie style in leadership strategies — the one full of positivism, tranquility and acceptance.
There is even this Canadian consultant called Cregg Cochian — he carried a thorough research on love leadership and shared his findings in a book called “ Love Leadership: What the World Needs Now” . Cochlan describes how, for most of us, this is not a stretch, but rather is, once we put Love Leadership in place, a natural, authentic style. He also shows how years of corporate and social conditioning have led most of us to resist incorporating love into our leadership. As he explains, his theory is not only about allowing love to enhance the way you lead others, but also a personal striving that can increase your capacity to love others personally and professionally and, in so doing, increase your effectiveness on both the personal and professional plane.
III. The numbers
It turns out that love leadership has plenty of direct, work related implications and Meghan M. Biro from the Forbes magazine structures them quite adequately. Here is what she says : “The employer/employee relationship is, in many ways, similar to dating or marriage. It started with courtship (the hiring process), moves through engagement (building deepening bonds and commitment), and if successful, ends with a fulfilling relationship in which both parties thrive in a culture that balances independence with emotional support.” And if we think about it, the true leaders that we really like -we actually love! They are the ones that resonate not only on a merely practical level but also provoke deep sentiments on a purely emotional stage. They make us believe, dream on and utterly inspire us! And you know what workforce inspiration means for a corporation, don’t you? If you don’t here is a hint : First of all, according to Gallup’s widely respected State of the American Workplace report, disengaged employees cost businesses $450–550 billion a year in lost productivity. Emotionally connected employees simply perform better. According to the Boston Consulting Group, since 2001, companies that embrace “whole person” employee engagement have consistently outpaced growth in S&P average cumulative share price by margins of up to 99 percent. Gallup reports these additional benefits from total quality of life programs:
• 37% lower absenteeism
• 48% fewer safety incidents
• 41% fewer quality defects
• 28% less inventory shrinkage
• 10% higher customer satisfaction and
- Up to 22% higher profitability.
Turns out that love and leadership go hand to hand. So, the better the lover the greater the leader?