What does the word 'love' mean to you?
Whatever it means to you, reading, saying, or hearing the word love triggers some type of emotional response. Whether that response gives you butterflies or brings up a memory of a love lost, love, brings up deep feelings and memories within us.
In our businesses, words are designed to communicate instruction and order. They help us convey rules and structure and assist us in the developing of our company's culture. The words we use are often not of an emotional nature. But, what if I asked you what role love plays in your company? Would you have the same emotional response as when I first asked what love means to you? We intentionally keep 'love' out of our business, but should we?
After all, why do your employees show up every morning for work? Why do they stick with you during tough times, or put up with your antics and unique quirks? Is it for their next paycheck, or is it because of something much deeper?
We should embrace love as entrepreneurs because there is great power in it. Love is most certainly part of the equation which helps us to maintain the mental and physical stamina and energy to put in the hours and hard work required to run a business. Why wouldn't your employees find their motivation in that same way?
Some of us mistakenly try to use fear as a motivator rather than love as a guide when leading our employees and managing our business. You can control people with fear to an extent, but people will follow you out of love.
People always have the ability to get employment elsewhere, and when they feel fear, they will look to eliminate it, and they will do that by leaving your business.
Think about that. How many times have you ever heard anyone say "I would leave, but my boss is so mean and scares me, so I should probably stay." "Leading" by fear is not leading at all -- its manipulation. There is no substitution for leading with love. The only way someone stays because of a boss is because of love.
I can't claim that love will power your business' growth or solve staffing turnover, but I can comfortably say that the love my employees have shown for me and our business is why we're still in business and growing. And I'd like to think that the love they show is because I'm not afraid to bring it into the workplace. I won't ever hesitate to show my appreciation and dedication to employees, customers, partners, and others because love belongs in every business, and it will always be a part of mine.