How Love Can Propel Your Business

By John Johnson

What would be the primary traits you would consider essential for effective leadership? Would you include qualities such as vision, courage, determination, perseverance, charisma, communication skills, and intelligence? How about character traits such as honesty, integrity, generosity, and humility?

One quality that stands out to me probably would not appear near the top of many people’s lists: Love. What I am referring to is not what usually comes to mind at first – emotions, romance, self-centered feelings that can disappear as quickly as they appear. No, I am talking about the kind of love that serves to positively shape an organization’s corporate culture.

By corporate culture, I am referring to beliefs that affect behaviors, determining how a company’s employees and management interact. Research has discovered 73% of employees do not believe their organization’s values. Of the remaining 27%, 77% of those who do believe the organization’s values cannot apply them to their job. This is a serious employee/employer disconnect limiting productivity.

Love – the kind that strives to put the needs and interests of others first, seeking their best – can make the difference and totally transform an organization’s culture. My book, Love As a Management Practice, explains the motivating power of love at work. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Morale. Treated with love, coworkers experience increased personal job satisfaction.
  • Margins. Loved employees act more responsibly, making them better stewards of time and resources, and generate increasingly better results.
  • Product/service performance. Loved employees are increasingly motivated to contribute their best efforts to the organization’s mission, which is to benefit customers of products and services.
  • Customer satisfaction. Improved job satisfaction results in more satisfactory response to the needs of internal and external customers.
  • Return on investment. This is the increasing net effect of a well-treated, productive workforce.

This leads to the greatest benefit of all: Spiritual. Love as a management practice is not a clever phrase or strategy designed by a management consultant. It is anchored in the Bible, aimed for the benefit of others and most importantly, pointing to God – the ultimate source of love. Consider the following:

Love has an outward focus. In His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ taught that love should be central to everything we do. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor [coworker/employee]) as yourself” (Matthew 22:36).

Love puts others first. A modern distortion of love is a focus on ourselves – what we can get out of it. Love as the Bible describes it is not self-seeking. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude…not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13).

Love is God’s desire for us. Speaking to His disciples before He would be betrayed, given a mock trial and crucified, Jesus gave them direct instructions: “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

© 2024. John Johnson is a businessman, philanthropist, the author of Love As a Management Practice (LAMP), which has also been developed into a curriculum for business and professional leaders. He has been actively involved with CBMC for many years.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. If you were to describe the keys to being an effective leader, what traits or qualities do you think would be essential?
  2. When you hear the word “love,” what thoughts come to your mind? What thoughts do you have about the idea of displaying or demonstrating love in the workplace?
  3. Do you think love, as Mr. Johnson has described it in this Monday Manna, makes sense for the workplace? Why or why not?
  4. What do you think would be the impact of applying this philosophy – love as a management practice – where you work? How much difference would it make, in your opinion?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

     Psalm 136:1; Matthew 5:16; Mark 12:33; John 15:9; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 2:7-10

Challenge for This Week

During the next week, take some time to reflect on how you interact with other people at work – employees, coworkers, customers, suppliers. Honestly assess your attitude toward them. Do you think you demonstrate love toward them, as described in this Monday Manna?

It might help to ask someone who knows you well what they think. Do they see you as a person who cares for others, who seeks the best interests of people you work with and do business with? Based on your conclusions, how might you go about making some changes – if you determine that some are needed?