Leadership in Business Demands Love

A Wise Leader in Business Demands Love

foundation of trust and teamwork…

2023 Superbowl champions, the current head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid, is well-known for his love for his players and his community. With over 200 victories, Andy is one of the most successful coaches in NFL history. He and his team have been quoted as having a winning combination to repeat their success. Andy’s belief in the importance of loving and supporting his team is a key factor in his success as a coach, as he knows that a winning team cannot be built without a foundation of trust and teamwork.

I know that many teams will say that after a big victory, but one thing is true, if you don’t love your people, you will not lead them to victory too many times as the coach, even if you have all the talent in the world.

There are those who may dismiss the idea that leadership should be centered around love for one’s team. They may argue that leadership is about achieving results, not emotions. However, my friend Ken Parker, CEO and Co-Founder of Next Thought, would disagree. He believes that the key to achieving results lies in the love and support a leader provides to their team.

Coach John Wooden, the winningest coach in college basketball history, said, “The job of the coach is to love the boys.” Or to paraphrase in modern phraseology, “The job of the leader is to love the people.” Makes you wonder why he did not say “The job of the coach is to win”? He didn’t say that because he knew that if he loved his players, they would win. He loved them enough to care about them, to train them properly, to provide them with practical and reasonable discipline, to tell them the truth and then they would commit to winning. And because of their commitment to winning, they would succeed.

When a leader loves someone, they wish for them to succeed.

They wish for them to be happy and fulfilled. They wish for them to rise far above themselves. If a leader loves their people, that leader will do everything in their power to help them be more than they ever thought they could be. The proper role of the leader to love.

Ponder the thought…

That if everyone in your organization was fully committed to achieving the recognized goals and fully engaged in thinking up new ideas, identifying problems, finding solutions, and innovating new products and services, you could be a successful organization. People solve problems, run the organization and execute the mission. Leaders cannot do these things alone. And people cannot succeed unless they commit to success. How might the leader get people to commit to success? By engaging and developing relationships with them. This is how we as human beings work. We build relationships and commitments to one another. And we respond most effectively to those we care about and to those who care about us. Disregard your people and they will abandon you. Love your people and they will follow you. You can’t impact those that are not on your team like you can with those that are presently on the team. Leaders sometimes focus outside the team and the same is true, those on the team that are being disregarded will soon leave.

Wired to Connect

Human beings are wired to connect and build relationships through social interaction by developing friendships and affections. When this happens in a business or organization it creates a dynamic that draws others to follow the leader or the cause.  In fact, it is the establishment of these relationships that allows humans to:

  • Collaborate And Cooperate
  • Build Functioning Societies
  • Accomplish Mutually Beneficial Goals
  • Form Families And Raise Children
  • Run Organizations.

The loyalty, trust, care and affection that relationships provide, in a literal sense, allow us to flourish. Without them, the team suffers.

To imagine that you can effectively lead people without truly caring and loving them, is foolish. You may be able to direct people to accomplish tasks, but you will not be able to sustainably leverage their innovation and engagement to accomplish the goals of the organization.

In Sync Goals

The goals of the organization and the goals of the people should be in sync. Success is the connection of those goals working together. Without truly understanding your people and what they need, what motivates them, what struggles they have, and what talents they possess, you cannot hope to position them to be successful. And if they are successful, then you and your organization will be the beneficiary. If they are not successful, you won’t be either. And so, it follows that to deny meaningful relationships with your people is to fundamentally deny the fullest success of the organization.

As a leader, you are uniquely positioned to improve the lives of those in your care. Especially as you seek to achieve business mileposts. The success of your business and the success of your people are inextricably linked. One cannot succeed without the other.

In the Old and New Testaments there are 58 references to “one another”.  I heard Andy Stanley say that our primary goal as leaders was to “one another, one another”.  That means to love one another to begin with.  Not always the most popular thing to do, but loving others goes a long way to creating an environment where “people matter, and  things happen”.

An ancient text reminds us that “Faith, Hope and Love” are necessary in relationships, but love is the greatest of these.  So, crank up the LOVE, it’s required of leaders for success.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Travis Jones

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter at Career Development Partners.

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