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Bruce Holland

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The Business of Love

Many managers feel uncomfortable when I talk about "the business of love."

They tell me I may be one of the few people who can get away with it, partly because I'm the bean counter, trained in Economics and Accounting, and spent most of my life in the world of finance and figures; and also because I'm stupid enough (I'd say brave enough) to try.

Over the years I have come to realise that love may be the most under recognised asset and under-utilised competitive advantage available to an organisation.

Today's problems both in organisations and in the world are not technical, they are nearly all based on poor human relationships. They are caused by separation where there should be connection, fear where there should be trust, control where there should be love.

What I mean by love

When I talk about love, I'm talking about freedom (instead of control), connectedness (instead of isolation) and trust (instead of fear). I'm talking about:

  • Helping someone become more of who they are
  • Helping them remove barriers so they can become free
  • Giving them opportunities and belief so they can surprise themselves
  • Including them rather than excluding them
  • Providing hope for the future
  • Helping them find their purpose in life.

It is about helping a person be who they are and realise their purpose in life. I think this is the most important thing a leader can do for their people.

Don't take my word for it

Teilhard de Chardin, one of the great thinkers in the last century, said that our ability to harness love has potential consequences as great as the mastery of fire. I agree:

"One day, after we have mastered the winds and the waves, gravity and the tides, we will harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in human history, mankind will have rediscovered fire." Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955).

Dr Humberto Maturana says that "Love, allowing the other to be a legitimate other, is the only emotion that expands intelligence." Fear can only separate us, Love is the one emotion that expands intelligence because Love connects us.

In his book, 'The Origins of Humanness in the Biology of Love,' Maturana claims that "the fundamental emotion that gave rise to humans as sapient languaging beings was love, and this remains our fundament even when other emotions become socially prevalent."

Mother Teresa was once asked what enabled her to do such great things in her life, she said, "You can only do small things with great love."

Leadership behaviours that create love

Leaders in business models based on love:

  • Are givers. They see abundance rather than scarcity. They know giving multiplies through reciprocity.
  • Know that people are far more closely connected to each other than other managers believe. As a result they operate in a fundamentally different way.
  • Know that, because people are deeply connected, the thoughts they carry in their heads directly affect others even if they are unspoken.
  • Know about the human need to connect and belong. They invest considerable time and effort creating workplaces that connect people.
  • Know the 'space' between people is not empty. It's full of energy made up of trust, feelings emotions, information and love. They make it their business to manage this 'space' at least as deliberately as they manage the individuals.
  • Know that collaboration is a stronger force than competition. They discourage competition, especially within the organisation.
  • Know that their organisations are organic, not mechanic. They work hard to nurture the organisation as a living system.

To learn about Collaboration in business ...

Give me a call if I can help. In the meantime: Think BIG!

Warmest wishes,
Bruce Holland
Virtual Group Business Consultants
Phone +6421620456 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills

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