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add some love to your leadershipLooking back on all the places I’ve worked, the ones that were the most enjoyable—and productive—were those where there was love. Not the mushy candy heart kind, but rather the holding people in high regard kind.

Not to say those organizations weren’t results-driven or action-oriented. They were. Metrics were vigorously scrutinized, and low performers strongly urged to up their game.

But what made those workplaces different from others was that people cared.

Bosses didn’t rip into employees. They didn’t shred people’s self-respect and self-esteem.

Bosses in those companies “got” it.

They understood employees weren’t the enemy to be vanquished but rather the ones through whom all work got done.

They knew that motivating by kindness—not by fear—made things happen.

They knew engaged teams who bonded together defied gravity in the pursuit of making goals happen.

Today is Valentine’s Day, so it’s the perfect day to give yourself, and those around you, a leadership gift of love, empathy and kindness.

3 ways to add some love to your leadership

1. It’s OK to care.

Treating employees and colleagues with respect and compassion may not be on your company’s leadership competency model or give you any points at bonus time, but be a well-mannered maverick and do it anyway.

The essence of love is to affectively affirm as well as unselfishly delight in the well-being of others, and to engage in acts of care and service on their behalf, without exception, in an enduring and constant way. ~Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, Case Western Reserve University

2. Let’em know they matter.

Saying “thanks” increases the likelihood your employee will not only help you, but help someone else. ~Mark Goulston

3. Be kind.

Being kind isn’t synonymous with being weak. Kind bosses tell people how they can be better and inspire them to do so. Kind bosses tactfully point out mistakes and ask about the lessons learned. Kind bosses see the potential we don’t see in ourselves and push us to grow into it.

Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others. ~William J.H. Boetcker

Do you think there’s room for love in leadership?

Image credit before quote added:  morgueFile