An esteemed colleague and good friend heard Joel Manby speak about his book, “Love Works,” at a Toastmaster Conference. He said, “You would really like this guy.”
I just finished listening to the audio book. He was so right.
Joel’s book is about seven timeless principles for effective leaders. He bases it on the Bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. In my experience, it’s unusual to find a business book based on a Bible verse. I found the lessons and the stories to be inspiring. Joel knows that business is about profit and the bottom line. But we can do it, and possibly achieve even better results, using love.
Love is …
Last week I was in Stockholm, Sweden visiting my cousins. One of my cousins, Eva Steene is the principal of a school that serves children ages 7-10 years old called Sagaskolan. I saw “Leadership with Love” in action in this school.
The children in the school are very diverse and speak over 30 different “mother tongues,” the language of their birth countries and parents. They slowly learn Swedish and will eventually learn English. Eva has a total of 35 staff, 15 of them teachers. The doors open for the children at 7:30am and close about 6:30pm. The school provides “day care” before and after school for working parents.
I experienced the principles of love and leadership in Eva and her staff. Robin Fransson greeted each of her children at the door with eye contact, a quiet touch, some acknowledging words followed by a huge smile. The children all waited patiently for their personal greeting. I was moved just watching them.
Pratema Parekh was teaching basic addition when I joined her class. She was so engaging and patient. Although every thing was in Swedish, I could feel the love and support she gave each student as they worked on their math. After math, a few children had the opportunity to come to the front of the room, sit in a special chair and describe the story of a drawing that they created. Other children then could ask the student questions. Pratema held the space for a beautiful, encouraging dialogue. The children left the front of the room very proud with big smiles.
My cousin Eva, greeted her teachers in a similar way. There were hugs, laughter and sharing as they began the day in the Teacher’s Room. Eva went to the office early to make sure they had fresh coffee. During my visit, we had many discussions about giving feedback, helping parents who were struggling and how to support her staff on a daily basis. She was amazing. She leads her school with love, commitment and passion.
How does this show up in your business or your work? How do you use these leadership principles with your customers, clients, team members or employees?
As you work on your goals and to do lists, these fit into a very important new list – the “To Be” list. Who do you want to be in your business?