What’s love got to do with what?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Great Resignation.” Oh hell, who isn’t thinking about it? When you can’t get through to customer service, can’t get waited on in a retail establishment, stand on a line that’s way too long, who isn’t wondering what is really going on here.
A friend of mine suggested one day that at the core of the Great Resignation is the Great Realization.
That stopped me instantly. Maybe people are realizing that there is an alternative to working for a tiny amount of money while the CEO is pulling down bazillions each year even when the company is not making money. Perhaps they are realizing that it’s soul sucking to go to work in a place where they are not being valued – or appreciated – for giving so much of their life energy every day.
At the extreme (no matter how wonderful your company is) there are still people out there in other companies who are tired of feeling used, abused or taken advantage of because no logical alternative exist for them that would balance their childcare needs and their employment needs.
Whatever is happening, it’s a wake up call for all businesses. First you had to learn that your customer comes first – and then you had to learn that your employee comes first.
Now, I’m pretty sure you know that. I’m usually “preaching to the choir” as they say. I find that people who find me already believe in embracing these “power shifts” that have been moving into place for years.
The more I think about what is happening today, the more I know for sure, that the most radical solution is the one we must embrace now.
And that radical solution is LOVE.
What if as a leader you started thinking about all the places where you could choose LOVE? Sounds radical, but is it really?
A few years ago I had a client who was really struggling with one of her clients. I came up with one communication solution after another for her – nothing seemed to work.
So one day while sitting in her office, I took a big breath, leaned back and said “There is one more thing that you can try. It’s radical, it may seem strange to you, but it’s what I think you need to do now.”
She looked at me and said “Anything. I’m not in the position where I can fire him and I have to work this out, it’s starting to keep my up at night.”
“Okay” I said. “Here’s what I want you to do. Choose LOVE.”
“Choose to send Love when you think of him. Think of it as a color if you need to, or a soothing sound, or a warm feeling. As you think of him, “pretend” that you have the power to “soften” his barriers to your suggestions, if only you and he were in a more loving relationship.”
She was shocked at this “non-business” solution to what she saw as a business problem. She was willing to go to any extreme to take the pressure off herself.
And it worked. It worked well.
As one of my teachers sings “When love wins, nobody loses. Choose love.”
Open the possibility that part of your leadership responsibility is to use love as a tool to understand others and what they need, what they desire and what you can do to keep they happy.
When people feel valued, appreciated, cared about – and dare I say loved at work – they won’t be so quick to leave.
Happy Valentine’s Day
PS As my Valentine’s Gift to you here is a full length speech I did on the topic of Leadership Loyalty and Love