Happy Valentines Day!

It’s a fun holiday filled with shiny red hearts, yummy chocolates and cards that express love in so many different ways. What’s even more fun is knowing that this celebration of love goes all the way back to 5th century Rome.


Some ideas just have staying power.


Love for instance.

We don’t usually talk about it much in business, but when you take the time to think about it, it’s one of the main reasons people become loyal and stay with a company.

When employees love where they work – they show up willingly, they create and add value, they make friends and tell friends.

When a company is loved by its customers, they come back and buy more, they advocate for you, they tell their friends, they share input to make your product or service better. It’s a positive spillover effect.


In its own way love drives business.

When you love your employees and what they do for you – when you love your customers and engage them in an experience that’s fulfilling – or just plain feels good — they like that.

I think we all long to be part of something outside of ourselves that feels good, good, good.


What are you doing to cultivate love?

Are you taking the time to ask your employees and customers how you might “add a little love” to their interactions with your company? What would make them feel treasured, valued, important?

Are you observing what gives people joy? Are you asking appreciating and empowering questions? (See below for mine.)

Are you examining what you love about your job and the company you work for?

Are you looking for people doing things right and finding words of appreciation and caring to let them know?

Are you giving people the space and support they need to grow?


Loving is a skill. It takes practice.

As a leader your first job – is to love yourself.

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Self-love is a cornerstone of self-leadership which is the basis of your leadership practice. Self-love is being a good and kind friend to yourself, first.


Self-love is one of the hardest loves to master.

So many of us in leadership positions came to them by pushing ourselves (sometimes mercilessly) to succeed and “climb the ladder.” Do vestiges of harsh “push, push push” language still speak loudly in your head? If so, it’s time to pay attention and see if you can soften the message and love yourself even at the moments you’re not succeeding.

(A recent injury has slowed me down – and I must say , I’m working on kind self-talk myself.)


Love requires safety and connection.

It requires a gentle encouraging voice that doesn’t beat up on you for what you’re not but celebrates you for what you are and encourages you to use your strengths to get better.

My very first coach explained it to me this way:

JoAnna if you bought a precious little puppy and you were training him to be a polite and friendly puppy would you beat him to do that?  Horrified, I said “NO!” From there on after whenever he heard me put myself down, in any way, he would gently remind me. “JoAnna – don’t beat the puppy.”


If you want to continue this conversation about love – let me know – we can jump on a call!

AND if you would like my fabulous list of Appreciating, Empowering and Asset Focused Questions

Just send me an email with the words “Fabulous Questions” in the subject line and I’ll send it right on over to you. JoAnna@ReturnOnHappiness.com


With love,


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