Community//

The L Word You Need In Your Leadership

You must love your team in order to lead them well

(Official USMC photo by Sgt. Jeremy Ross) (Released)
(Official USMC photo by Sgt. Jeremy Ross) (Released)

Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to be writing about a very touchy leadership style for most of you. In fact, if you even keep reading past the headline you are already a special breed of leader. Love is a word that brings up all sorts of visions and emotions.

So, how does love impact your leadership? First, we need to really define the type of love we are talking about.

Love in leadership

The Marine Corps has two primary objectives. The first is mission accomplishment. The mission is our job and we will do our job. The second is troop welfare. You must look out for those in your charge, lead them, and (unspoken, unwritten, and universally understood) love them.

You see, the secret every great military leader knows that you don’t accomplish your mission with a dysfunctional team that is tired, hungry, and checked out. To meet your primary objective you must meet your secondary objective first.

So, in the case of leadership, love means simply caring for your team. It isn’t some really weird, strange and touchy-feely concept. It is that brotherly or sisterly type of love you see displayed in every great act of valor. If you have read the book or seen the movie, “Lone Survivor”, you see this played out repeatedly as the men of Operation Red Wings try to survive and save each other on that mountain. But, there is no other scene that embodies this principle like Lt. Michael Murphy (Medal of Honor Citation) and his sacrifice for his team.

Love and your leadership style?

Now, nobody is asking you to climb out on a rock and take rounds for your team. Well, not literally anyway. However, sometimes that will be required in a metaphorical sense. What is asked of you is to open yourself up to building stronger relationships, being more vulnerable, being more authentic and, being comfortable with not being the most important piece of the puzzle.

It requires an immense amount of effort but it is an effort with the highest return on investment you will ever make.

The best part is this type of love fits extremely well into any leadership style. Every single team and team member wants to work for and with people whom they love and who loves them back. It is simply human nature that drives that desire. Besides a few exceptions, you cannot hide it or fight it.

In fact, look no further than companies such as Chic-Fil-A and Barry-Wehmiller for proof. I have talked about Chic-Fil-A a few times on my podcast and I’m sure, sadly, many of you may have never heard of Barry-Wehmiller so I will focus on them. CEO Bob Chapman began leading his team with a concept called, “Truly Human Leadership”. Now, think about that title for one second, Truly Human Leadership, and what sort of imagery it brings to your mind.

There is a lot that goes into it but I think it can be summarized with these words, love them like family. Bob and Barry-Wehmiller treat their team members, regardless of position in the organization, like an extended family. The part that makes it truly magical is they extend it to the actual family of the team member.

The family leadership style of Truly Human Leadership is one that embraces the very same concepts of brotherly love that makes the military such a tight-knit group. It proves that from the battlefield to the boardroom when you love your people they will love you back with loyalty, innovation, and success beyond anything you could ever imagine.

But, don’t take my word for it. Listen to Bob’s TEDx Talk. It will be the best 22 minutes of your day. And yes, you can spare those minutes!

To truly lead successful teams you must be willing to open yourself up, be vulnerable, be authentic, and love them like family.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Lessons In Leadership: One On One With Rear Admiral Marc Purcell

by Adam Mendler
Community//

Lessons In Leadership: One On One With Major General Garrett Yee

by Adam Mendler
Community//

“5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your Industry”, with Phil Schraeder

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.