When was the last time your employer talked to you about ‘love’? How would you react if ‘loving’ was added to your responsibilities at work?
On a recent night-flight home from a conference in New York l was just dozing off when I remembered that “Undercover Boss USA” was showing on the in-flight entertainment. I don’t follow the series but this was an episode I’d heard about - the most popular in the series - watched by 18 million people and featuring Christian business leader Joel Manby.
Joel Manby is CEO of America’s largest privately owned theme park company. He and his team at Herschend Family Entertainment practice servant-leadership throughout their organisation and have adopted the management philosophy: Lead with Love.
Within days of his appearance in Undercover Boss emails and letters started to pour in from people across the country: people who wished they could work for a company like his, and wanting to learn how to develop the same loving approach in their own workplace.
Joel said, “I never imagined how people from across the world would embrace our company and culture like they did. People were starving for a better a way to lead.”
He realised, "there was an epidemic of leadership not just in the US, but across the world”, and decided to reveal the principles of ‘leading with love’ in a new book simply titled ‘Love Works’.
In Love Works, Joel identifies 7 timeless principles, first outlined in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, that can be put to work by anyone in any organisation. They apply equally in charities, small and large businesses and the public sector. In Love Works he outlines what each of these principles does and doesn’t mean and shows that ‘love’ is rarely the soft option.
• Be patient - demonstrate self-control in difficult situations
• Be kind - show encouragement and enthusiasm
• Be trusting - place confidence in those around you
• Be unselfish - think of yourself less
• Be truthful - define reality corporately and individually
• Be forgiving - release the grip of the grudge
• Be dedicated - stick to your values in all circumstances
As a business owner I find it’s rare that the word ‘love’ features in any organisation’s strategy, mission or vision. I’ve sat through hundreds of business lectures, roundtable discussions and meetings but not once has ‘love’ been included as a strategy or philosophy to consider.
Here at Eden our team will be reading Love Works to see what we could and should do differently. If you’re a leader of an organisation, or working on the frontline and wanting to make a difference, then I’d strongly recommend you take a few hours and consider the possibility that, wherever you spend your week - Love Works.
March 7th, 2013 - Posted & Written by G M