I believe in the power of “love” in business. How employers can create a more loving environment, and how employees can experience love in their careers are questions I began to ponder 10 years ago after experiencing what a therapist at the time called “a slow death of my soul”. I had accepted a job in consumer sales with a Fortune 50 company right out of college. I hated what I was doing and spent the next eight years in an endless pity-party filled with constant self-analysis, inner-turmoil, and self-sabotage. I hated my work, but I loved the lifestyle and the money — and after all, wasn’t that the point?
My days had no meaning, and I was drained. I missed the Susan that was strategic, energetic, and passionate, but I couldn’t remember where I’d left her. I would look at other employees with 15, 20, or even 25 years of service with the company and wonder how they did it. I listened to their stories intently. It became clear that most of them were literally counting the days until retirement. They knew exactly what they weren’t going to have to do, and when they’d no longer have to do it.
But for some reason, I couldn’t resolve the issue internally by saying, “It’s just a job…a means to an end.” I realized that if I’m going to spend 40-60 hours per week or more for the next 30 years of my life doing something, I want to like it – in fact I want to LOVE it!
Eventually I took a package and moved on, but I moved on with a passion for what I now call LIB or Love in Business. The foundation of this concept is the same no matter what word you choose to use… ‘spirit’, ‘love’, ‘passionate ownership’, or even ‘service’. If you create an environment where your biggest resource, your people, come to work feeling whole; feel confident in their ability to contribute powerfully and uniquely to the organization; and understand clearly the “higher purpose” for their daily activities, then dollars and profits will naturally follow. At its core, manifesting love in business is about leveraging “love” as a genuine business principle and a preferred path to sustainability.
Love needs no explanation or definition because it is a natural part of the human experience to love and be loved. Love in Business is not just an operating principle by which companies can do business by, it is a feeling, an energy, a foundation of culture that an institution can “attract” by. Whether it be attracting like-minded employees, or new business, it is a way of being that facilitates unbounded creativity, a feeling of wholeness, and an inherent desire to contribute in incredibly unique ways, internally and externally. It’s simply charismatic appeal at the institutional level!
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I just used the “L” word. I believe that LOVE can make a lasting difference, even in business.
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