What is Love in Leadership?

What is Love in Leadership?

As often as our world likes to throw the word “love” around, it seems strange that you don’t often see it spring to life in the world of leadership. We have seemed to relegate love to the confines of some personal relationship that exists beyond the territories of our businesses and organizations. I believe in doing so we are missing an opportunity to relate to others in a way that profoundly impacts our bottom line, goals, and metrics.

In his best selling book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni speaks about love and accountability in this way, he says “At its core, accountability is about having the courage to confront someone about their deficiencies and then to stand in the moment and deal with their reaction, which may not be pleasant. It is a selfless act, one rooted in a word that I don’t use lightly in a business book: Love. To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing our their deficiencies.”

In my own life, I have not had many people love me enough to be as honest as I needed them to be. I am sure I contributed to this dynamic by not being as approachable as I could have been, but I wish people would have called out the negative leadership behaviors I was blissfully unaware of. What if people had loved me enough to stop and make me aware of my blind spots? How different of a leader would you be if someone loved you enough to make you aware of behaviors that were not going to yield the results you thought they would? Who are some people in your sphere of influence you can love enough to be honest with them about behaviors that are negatively impacting those around them?

Imagine a culture where love was present, accountability was active, and the bottom line, goals, and metrics were achieved because you wasted less time cleaning up mistakes that could have been avoided. Don’t just imagine it, have the courage to love those around you and watch others follow your lead…


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