"It's a way to lead that grows the bottom line and respects employees, a way to lead that demands accountability and give second chances."
Leaders must create the culture where this occurs intentionally. I am kicking off an IT Leadership Boot Camp in Indianapolis in March (Interested? Register here) and had the opportunity to share the four parts of the program yesterday. This was a group of very talented IT people who had successfully become directors in their firms and hoped to become the CIO at some point. As I looked out at them, I could see desire, hope and fear. Leading requires these very difficult opposites - grow bottom line AND respect employees as individuals. Drive accountability while allowing second choices. There isn't one right way to be a leader, and that's the most daunting part of growing your career. When you believe your value to the business has come from technical or operational excellence, moving away from that into growing people can be like jumping off a cliff. Staying in the weeds will ensure that you're the jerk. Investing in your leadership will bring with it pain, false starts and failure. And it will grow the future leaders.
Defining the word LOVE in this context is different. To summarize, author of "Love Works. Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders", Joel Manby, speaks of Agape love:
"Agape love is about the values we embrace as a way of life, and it is a determination to behave in a certain way that stems from our regard for other human beings, regardless of how we fell about them."
Check out the book for all of the Greek variations of love.
For leaders, this means that choosing to (agape) love other humans, specifically those who work with us, is a behavioral choice. It has nothing to do with whether you like them or not. It has to do with they are valuable humans no matter what we think about them. It requires commitment and will, not feelings. I believe that multi-tasking and crazy busy-ness blocks this commitment by triggering negative feelings that create blind spots. Ouch.