Love and Leadership
As soon as a friend saw, I was sitting on my desk, writing on love and leadership, he immediately objected, “Why are you mixing oil and water? There is absolutely no relationship between love and leadership.” I was equally firm, “Open the parachute of your mind, my dear. Love is the highest ideal of leadership. It is difficult to mix them of course but they are like a husband and wife who become the most compatible after the long battle during the honeymoon is over”
We tend to have narrow definition of love (and Valentine’s Day) equating it with man-woman or life partner emotion. But love is the essence of spirituality, once you understand the unity and oneness of humanity, you discover the bond of love which connects us. Love means care, it means warmth, it means nurturing, affection, trust and so on.
Four well known international leaders who have written on love and leadership include Janiece Webb, (Sr VP, Motorola, USA), Lars Kolind (CEO, Oticon, Denmark), NS Raghavan, (Joint Founder & JMD, Infosys, India) and Francisco R. Canada (Director, Errepar SA, Argentina).
Janiece talks of ‘tough love’ that she gives to her employees to create giants out of ordinary people, how love lifts her above her ego and how it helps her express appreciation and compassion in an open way. She says love helps her in seeing the soul of the business. Lars concludes in his write up, “If you serve a purpose based on care and love, then you can be successful in almost anything.” With care and love, he turned the fortunes of Oticon and took the company from bankruptcy to global eminence.
In the cut throat competitive corporate world we live in and the backstabbing colleagues we work with, love is difficult to practice though. But then anything which is worthy in life, is difficult to practice. In fact, Janiece points out something very interesting. She says, “I used to affirm that I wanted to be intellectually fit, physically fit, emotionally fit and spiritually fit. But now I realize that if I get in touch with my spirituality, then the rest takes care of itself.” The higher consciousness which one develops through spiritual tools and genuine love and compassion makes one emotionally, intellectually and even physically (we become conscious of what we eat and how much we exercise) in good shape.
Creating a culture of we-ness, a true team spirit is creating a culture of love. Somebody has rightly said, “There is no Place for I in TEAM.” Lars says about Oticon, “People were desperate to work with us, we were making a major difference with our customers (with a love-empathy philosophy) and we were recognized by our peers. And it all ended up creating financial value like crazy.”
In simple words, love is based on seeing the god or goodness in every human being and trusting your employees. There is a joke that decision making becomes easier when, “either you trust everyone or you don’t trust anyone.” A good leader develops the streetsmartness to judge unethical behavior among employees and trusts the rest of the employees.
Raghavan emphasizes on trust as a symbol of love and says he continually demonstrated his belief in the inherent goodness of people by trusting them with information and decision making power at Infosys. He talks of how he experimented with the team taking the new boss’s interview and how employees were asked to decide their own increments (the funds available were told to them).
Francisco says, “The concept for business we work with, our goal is to make people aware of their inner potential, to help bring out this potential and to always strive for excellence. Excellence is the way, God made the world. I also think this should be the purpose of business in general.”
Copyright : Dr Amit Nagpal
Courtesy Spiritual Lounge emagazinehttp://spirituallounge.whitedrums.com/
Visual Source : ibtimes.com
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Leading with Wisdom, Response Books (Business Books from Sage), 2007