What is your initial reaction when you hear that successful CEOs, owners and executives want more fulfillment, love and meaning in their businesses, not just their lives? If your response is, “Love at work really – come on, work is not the place for love!” Then possibly it’s simply a difference in definitions, beliefs and expectations of love that creates this misunderstanding. Before you read on it would be helpful for you to consider and answer:
- What does love at work mean to you?
- How is your definition of love expressed in business?
When we consider what love really is then together we can seek understanding. While I don’t believe we’ll ever have a full understanding of love’s meaning because that goes beyond comprehension, the love I’m referring to is not a sexual act, a mating behavior, an expressive statement or a feeling. It is much more because:
- Love is a way of being
- Love is foundational of who we are
- Love is the foundation we build upon to create our lives and businesses because all we create is a reflection of our inner selves
- Love is expressed in all we do, all we say and all we become
- Love is the essence of who and what we are at our very core selves
Love in business isn’t a new concept. While there are many other examples, here are two: Southwest Airlines built their tremendous success on creating more love and Tim Sanders, Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! used love to transform Yahoo! as he details in his book Love is the Killer App (written in 2002).
So while people have shared with me that love doesn’t fit in business, I respectfully disagree. Today more than ever people feel isolated and lonely making more love critical for people, business and the world. The greatest amount of interaction for most working adults is at work. Consciously or unconsciously the work environment is how they seek to fill their core basic need for love. These aren’t just strangers they are your employees, customers, colleagues, friends and loved ones.
Here are some facts to shed light on this growing and significant issue:
- 40% of adults said they were lonely (double the 20% in the 1980s). [AARP National Survey for adults 45 and older conducted in September 2010]
- 27% of U.S. households in 2012 contain one person living alone (up from 17% in 1970). [Census Bureau’s 2012 Population Survey]
- “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.” Mother Teresa: A Simple Path by Mother Teresa
When a business culture creates an environment of love it enables employees to feel secure, accepted and needed, which frees them to perform at their best. This will increase employees’ morale, engagement, productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. High performing employees create a high performance culture that increases your company’s competitive advantage and results in many financial benefits such as top line revenue and bottom line profit growth.
We’ll continue this discussion in the next article where I’ll share how to recognize love in the workplace so you can create more love in your business and specific financial benefits companies achieve. Until then let’s make this insight actionable.
Make It Actionable™
When you’re in your business environment spend the next two weeks objectively and intentionally:
- Observing the interactions and motivations of employees at all levels from a higher perspective
- Watching and considering individual employees who are not performing up to their potential then seek to understand the deeper meaning/root cause(s) holding them back
- Noticing ways you see love being displayed and the resulting impact it has
As you do take time to write down your thoughts and ideas then come back to read the next article where I’ll provide more insights and strategies to help you take this further.
Add your comments or questions below so we can help you move forward to achieve Breakthrough Success!