Leadership is Love.
You might be thinking, it really isn’t that simple Jonathan. Leadership is much more than that.
Nope. It isn’t.
Let me show you.
Have you ever been to a wedding? If so, you might recognize the following verse that is constantly used. 1 Corinthians 13: 4, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.” What would happen if we replaced Love, with Leadership?
Do me a favor. Wherever you are right now, wherever you are reading this, I want you to read this out loud.
Leadership is patient, leadership is kind. Leadership does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Leadership does not dishonor others and it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Leadership does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Leadership always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Leadership is Patient – Creating positive change in a person, team or organization is not something that happens overnight. Taking the time to learn about th
e individuals, what motivates them and how you can help them improve is a process. This trust is not just given immediately. It is earned.
In a recent study during the Covid-19 pandemic, leaders were evaluated by their direct reports on their leadership behavior. Leaders who rated among the highest in patience, their direct reports showed creativity and collaboration increased on average by 16% and productivity by 13% (Sluss, 2020).
Leadership is Kind – Have you ever heard the phrase; you get more bees with honey? Well, in leadership, the effectiveness of your leadership is a direct reflection of your relationships. People don’t want to follow leaders who are cruel and don’t care about them. People want to follow those who have a heart.
For years we have been taught to be kind in random acts. But if we are only being kind, at random times, what are we being the rest of the time? When kindness is made intentional, our cultures and productivity changes. Studies have proven that when people are kind, happiness increases, and happy people are 12 percent more productive at work (Sturt & Nordstrom, 2018).
Leadership is not about the individual – A leader’s focus should never be on self-promotion. Leadership is never about the one, but about the many. The
power that comes with leadership should always be held with respect to those being led. It is not a place for throwing others under the bus, holding grudges or a position to berate others for mistakes.
Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, says, “Management is the manipulation of others for your own success, but leadership is the stewardship of the lives entrusted to you.”
A leader’s focus should always be on those they are leading, helping develop them to become the best versions of themselves they can be.
Leadership rejoices with the Truth - Leadership is about transparency. It is open and honest communication about the goals and the challenges. Leadership is about creating an environment of open communication so that your team feels hear
d, valued and understood. Transparency develops higher levels of trust which leads to higher employee retention rates and collaboration (Macpherson, 2021).
It is also, when needed, about being able to openly communicate with a poor performing individual about the need to move them into a position that better fits them, or potentially another company. A leader should never hide the truth from their team.
Leadership always Protects – It is a leader’s job to ensure that his team is safe to operate free from distraction and fear of failure. Failure is a key attribute in growth. When leaders create a culture that embraces failure as apart of the learning process, employees can be more creative.
Thomas Watson, Sr of IBM once said that the faste
st way to success is to double your failure rate. When you are trying to accomplish great things, and develop amazing ideas, protection from the fear of failure is crucial.
Leadership is Trust – Leaders should always trust those around them and empower them with that trust. It is not a leader’s job to solve every problem, but to develop their teams to be the best they can. This comes from giving trust, even before it is earned. When people know you trust them, they will be willing to go above and beyond to prove you right.
Leadership always Hopes – It is the job of leadership to create the direction and vision for the team. The current state matters, but not as much as much as the future. Things are not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Hard times come. It is the leader’s job to navigate those hard times, keeping spirits high and focusing on the end goal.
During the pandemic, leaders who provided a realistic view of the current state, but stayed focus on the possibility in the future, were found more likely to emerge and succeed during hard times (Renjen, 2021).
8. Leadership always Perseveres – Truly healthy, effective leadership will always create success. Always. It might not happen immediately, but it will happen. It will outlast any downturn, any challenge, and any situation. It will create teams that are willing to sacrifice for one another and their leaders. It will create a culture of trust, ownership and most importantly, of family. When you work in that type of environment, you will always make it through to the other side.
So you see.
Leadership really is that simple.
Leadership is Love.
Macpherson, L. (2021). From Box to Patagonia, Buffer to Gitlab, read how CEOs and founders are leading with transparency. Retrieved from https://front.com/blog/8-examples-of-transparent-leaders-to-follow
Renjen, P. (2021). The heart of resilient leadership: Responding to Covid-19. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/covid-19/heart-of-resilient-leadership-responding-to-covid-19.html
Sluss, D. (2020). Becoming a More Patient Leader. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/09/becoming-a-more-patient-leader
Sturt, D., & Nordstrom, T. (2018). How Purposeful Kindess Can Make You A Better Leader. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2018/10/24/how-purposeful-kindness-can-make-you-a-better-leader/?sh=5d5b11437b7a