Guest Post by Matt Tenney
Some people think the word love should not be used in a business context. But love is one of the most powerful and unifying leadership attributes. Loving the people around us is incredibly rewarding personally and helps achieve better business results.
Leaders who love have a tremendous competitive advantage.
Leaders make better decisions when they genuinely care about their people. They elicit devotion from their follows who are willing to go the extra mile to make an impact. And it helps attract and retain the most talented people in your industry.
Can you remember the last time you were talking with someone, and he or she was barely with you? Physically the person was there, but his or her attention was all over the place and rarely with you. How did that feel?
Can you remember a time when someone you admired was with you; gave you his or her full, undivided attention; and made you feel that during your time together, you were the most important person in the world? How did that feel?
What would happen in your organization if you had more talented people who gave more discretionary effort and who stayed with you significantly longer? What would that do for the bottom line?
Presence elicits love.
One of the most powerful things we can do to help someone feel loved is to be fully present, giving him or her our complete, undivided attention.
The ability to be fully present and engaged with the people around us is something we can develop through the practice of mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness is, at its essence, making the effort to be fully present with what we’re doing or whom we’re with right now.
Love naturally arises from the practice of mindfulness. Although this is one of the most subtle benefits of mindfulness training, it is also one of the most powerful.
Mindfulness is not as easy to learn as technical skills and management techniques. It takes a lot of training. But just as with any other skill, the more we practice this, the better we get at it. Cultivating the ability to be consistently fully present with people, and help them to feel loved in our presence, is worth the effort. And the return on our investment in developing these abilities is tremendous.
Feeling loved is one of the deepest human needs there is. Sadly, many people rarely feel loved. If you can create a team culture where people feel loved, you will be offering people something incredibly valuable and quite rare.
You can create that type of impact. You can create that type of team culture by developing your ability to offer people one of the most valuable things in the world—a place where they are consistently loved.
Matt Tenney is the author of The Mindfulness Edge: How to Rewire Your Brain for Leadership and Personal Excellence Without Adding to Your Schedule and Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom. Through keynote speeches and training programs, he works to develop highly effective leaders who achieve extraordinary, long-term business outcomes – and live more fulfilling lives – as a result of realizing high levels of self-mastery and more effectively serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. Matt Tenney’s clients include Wells Fargo, Marriott, Keller Williams, The Four Seasons, and many other companies, associations, and universities.