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"Leadership is all about loving your people." (Ken Blanchard, April 2023)
My marketing guy tries to guide me to narrow the target market for Jenrada. My bet is he gets a bit frustrated with me when I tell him that none of the typical market segmentation criteria matter to me – not industry, not company size, not geography, not age, gender, title…
For me, there are only two criteria. Leaders who make up Jenrada’s client roster must:
- Care more about making the system better than they care about proving themselves right.
- Love their people.
The first probably doesn’t surprise you. This is the core of the Assumption Hacker’s Mindset and a subject I talk about frequently.
Today’s newsletter is about the second.
What Is Love?
Ah, that famous question. Since love isn’t a word we say or hear a lot in business, I’ll start by clarifying what I mean when I say “love your people.”
Most dictionaries define the word love as a feeling of passionate affection for someone. But years ago I learned a bigger, more empowering definition of the word. I learned that love is also a decision.
When we define love only as a feeling, it’s as if we are helpless to it. I feel it or I don’t, and that feeling has nothing to do with what I do. Instead, it’s something that happens to me.
But when we define love as a decision, we recognize that it is our actions that determine whether the feeling lives on or not. It declares that we are in control of how we act in our relationships and how much we push past conflict and challenges.
When my husband and I got married more than 40 years ago, we were given this advice: make the decision to love each other every day. We did, and we still do.
And that decision has kept us together through the best of times and the worst of times. Case in point: when our eldest daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer, we gathered our family together and we all made the commitment to each other that it would be us against the disease rather than us divided by the disease. That active decision helped us all go through what I wish no family ever would.
What over 40 years of love looks like. My husband and I the evening of our daughter's wedding.