Leadership in Business Demands Love

2020 Superbowl Champions, Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid loves his players and his community and it came through loud and clear for the world to see. Andy is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history with over 200 victories.  In fact, the newspaper came out a few days after the Superbowl victory proclaiming that he and all his players believe they have a winning combination to repeat their success.  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. 

Some would scoff at the notion that leadership needs to love your people.  They may even say “Leadership isn’t about love. Leadership is about results.” There are a thousand books and articles on the subject that might tell you something similar. But my friend Ken Parker CEO and Co-Founder of Next Thought would tell you that results are the outcome of love.

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 make available for them sensible 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.

Human beings are wired to connect and build relationships through social interaction by developing friendships and affections. When this happens in a business, organizations or church 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, and 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.

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


Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

CEOTravis 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.Travis is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He serves on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 220 offices. Prior to Career Development Partners, Travis served as President of Personnel Consultants, a professional staffing and placement company which consisted of 6 offices located in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Under his leadership, Personnel Consultants was the recipient of Inc. Magazine’s Award for the 135th fastest growing privately held business in America in addition to being named by Oklahoma Business Monthly as one of the best companies to work for in Oklahoma. He sold the company in October 2005 to PeopleLink Staffing and purchased Career Development Partners in November 2005. Travis serves on the Elder Board at Tulsa Bible Church, on the board of New Life Ranch and is a proud member of Tulsa Executives Association (TEA) and is active with several other organizations serving the community and beyond. Email: travis@cdpartnersinc.com

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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