Home » Blog » Leading With Love: Why Love is the heart of Leadership

What kind of leaders do we need?

A leader who is wholeheartedly dedicated to serving people.

But if the heart is involved, can we do it without love?

Love doesn’t have to be mushy. Love can be firm, strong, and resilient.

In context of leadership, love can be a powerful tool.

The equation is simple: The leader needs to love people. People need to love the leader. So you see, love it integral. Love causes us to care for others.

Just how or why does a leader should lead with love?

That’s what we are going to discuss in this blog today and as we move, we will also talk about how a leader can embody love at the heart of his/her leadership.

As the world keeps changing, the so-called ‘Ideal’ also changes.

In the case of leadership, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can be doing things in multiple ways, maybe different from others and still, you can be doing right.

If only a few things are taken into consideration, your leadership style may just become IDEAL. So what are those traits? Or should we say the essential qualities that make a leader loved? 

1. Always Address the Human in Everyone

People that come your office do not leave their humanity at home. Your employees may have had breakfast with their families, been delayed by traffic, or have just returned from dropping off their children at school.

This may appear to be nitpicking, but it is not. When asked how they are doing, people typically respond, “I’m good, thanks,” or “I’m so busy!” They report their activities, or what they are doing. Asking someone how they feel is more intimate and demonstrates concern. In addition, you are more likely to receive sincere answers as opposed to mechanized ones.

2. Carry The Energy You Want To Be Welcomed With

Love can also be perceived as the most constructive energy on Earth. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist in her enormously popular TED Talk, “A Stroke of Insight,” for bringing positive, caring energy into every place you enter. She claimed that during her miraculous recovery (by medical standards), she could sense the positive or negative energy of anybody that entered her room. It had a direct impact on her ability to recover.

Observe the next time you are in a meeting what happens to productivity when the energy feels nice (love) versus when it doesn’t (anger/frustration/fear). The fact that most of our meetings are now virtual makes it all the more crucial to establish an emotional connection with attendees that boosts their spirits.

3. Accept The Flaws, Don’t Point Them Out

Good employees make mistakes, great leaders allow them to.

We all make mistakes. Each and every one of us. If we’re not making mistakes, we’re probably not attempting enough new things outside our comfort zone, which is a mistake in and of itself. This is the most effective method for learning and personal development.

The path to great ideas and innovation is paved with errors. Mistakes are the stepping stones to leaving the comfort zone and entering the zone of growth, where new discoveries are made and valuable lessons are learnt. Mistakes are not failures; rather, they are the process of eliminating ineffective methods in order to get closer to those that will work.

4. Be Appreciative of Each Other’s Vulnerabilities

Not all of us were taught how to freely express our emotions. For whatever reason — either our family environment, childhood trauma, or the fact that our parents never expressed their feelings — we’ve developed behaviours that keep us caged and bottled up.

All of these require you to be vulnerable since you never truly know how another person feels about you, which might mean that their sentiments do not match yours, which could create an equilibrium in the connection, which could alter the dynamics of the relationship, etc.

If you observe a coworker working diligently, you should congratulate them. Go tell them if you want to spend more time with them in order to create a stronger bond.

Why do we need to focus on love?

It is the foundational tenet of all the great traditions throughout history. Evolutionary theory and neuroscience demonstrate the crucial role that community care has had in the evolution and development of the human species. And at this point in human history, when the earth is home to nearly eight billion people, the imperative to care for one another on a global scale has never been greater.

Self-love is a crucial part of love that contributes to the efficacy of leaders. If our goal is to care for others as much as we care for ourselves, we should prioritise our own wellbeing. A firm foundation of self-compassion and love is the initial step toward leading with love.

Psychology Of Love In Leadership

Colonel Joe Ricciardi discovered through values-driven leadership research that employees who feel loved by their leaders are significantly more inclined to view the latter as a good leader.

It follows naturally from liking your employees to lead them. So, how do love and leadership interact within an organisation?

Ricciardi’s research, which drew from studies in psychology and other fields, discovered that the three facets of love, “closeness, desire, and devotion,” all had a strong positive correlation with leadership, but intimacy surpassed them all.

Because you have invested time, emotion, and positive energy into creating meaningful relationships with coworkers, he says, you have demonstrated commitment, and your affection will shine through.

Creating closeness at work can be as simple as taking a few extra minutes each day to notice new family photos on an employee’s cubicle wall and stopping to ask about them, or recalling a specific event and presenting a handwritten letter.

Romance is not necessarily associated with intimacy. A leader can create rapport with team members by reiterating the organization’s dedication to their priorities. When a team member expresses a wish to attend her child’s sporting events, for instance, the manager will do all possible to accommodate her.

It can go even farther, such as aiding employees with broader financial goals, assisting a worker who want to purchase a home, establishing a savings plan, or providing information on mortgages or real estate.

To be a leader who leads from a position of love, it is necessary to consistently employ the proper leadership style. No matter how talented or successful you are, you should always want to improve and inspire others. Everyone benefits when love is at the helm. It benefits your business, relationships, health, society, and culture.

Where Does Love Fit In Leadership?

Love is more than a feeling; it is an action. To love is to feel and act in a loving manner. Love is difficult to define because it evolves and changes over one’s lifetime. Love is neither possessive nor dominant, nor is it concerned with ownership. Accepting and making place for the other person is the essence of love. Love is a permanent and stable neural process.

To the contrary, the opposite of love is not hate but rather fear. Fear is a paralysing feeling. We act irrationally as a result of our fear of incompetence, which causes us to act irrationally. When we recall anything “dumb” we uttered six years ago, we shake our heads in embarrassment. As humans, we experience a vast spectrum of emotions, all of which are rooted in either love or fear.

Fear motivates leaders and others to act in the exact opposite manner as love. Love is characterised by optimism, courage, and confidence, but fear is characterised by self-recrimination, pride, and concern. Fear is fueled by the ego, but love propels a fulfilled life — a life well-lived. In reality, love is the driving force behind anything that is significant in life.

When we’re afraid, we withdraw from life. All hopes for a better future hinge on the courage and vision of those who embrace life with an open heart when in love.

It is more probable that you will not be vulnerable to harassment charges or complicated entanglements if you lead with love. Distant leadership is neither inspiring nor alluring. To earn the complete allegiance and confidence of others, leaders must demonstrate love.

The Final Word

To be a loving leader, you need to be aware of and invested in the things that motivate and encourage your followers. It involves knowing what is essential to them and assisting them in achieving success. Leading with love is the cornerstone to effective leadership. To be an effective leader, you must love those you lead.

To lead with love requires a better understanding of how to bring out the best in others.

It is how to empower people to execute at a level that exceeds all expectations.

People will encounter you and emulate you.

They will be open if you are open.
If you are restricted, so will they be.
If you are defenseless, then so are they.

To be a leader who leads out of love requires constant development of the art of leading. No matter how skilled or accomplished you are, you are constantly working to inspire and improve others. Leading with love is advantageous for both the leader and the follower. It is beneficial for your business, relationships, community, and culture.

In the end, all you need is love!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of addressing the human aspect in leadership?

Leaders should always address the human aspect in everyone, including employees, as they come to the office with their own experiences, emotions, and feelings. Asking about their well-being and feelings, instead of just their activities, demonstrates concern and leads to more sincere responses.

How does energy of leader impact productivity in leadership?

The energy a leader brings into a meeting or virtual gathering has a direct impact on productivity. Love is perceived as the most constructive energy on Earth, and leaders should aim to bring positive, caring energy to boost attendees’ spirits and establish an emotional connection.

What is the role of accepting flaws in leadership?

Leaders should accept the flaws of their employees and not point them out, as everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process of learning and personal development, and are the stepping stones to innovation and growth.

Why is it important to be appreciative of each other’s vulnerabilities in leadership?

Being appreciative of each other’s vulnerabilities helps to create a stronger bond between coworkers and leaders. It is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate each other’s efforts and to build a relationship based on mutual understanding and care.

Why is love important in leadership?

Love is the foundational tenet of all great traditions throughout history, and the importance of caring for one another has never been greater with a global population of nearly eight billion people. Love is crucial in leadership, as self-love is the first step towards leading with love, and a strong foundation of self-compassion and love contributes to the efficacy of leaders.