Great Leaders are Great Lovers
Bringing Love into the Workplace
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to expressions of love. While this is generally thought of as a romantic holiday, one where you express your feelings and emotions to another person, it is a good reminder for those in any sort of leadership position, that love should be prominent in the workplace.
No, we aren’t talking physical affection here. We are talking about the forms of love that make the world a better place; where people come first and priorities are aligned around what helps people the most.
The Seven Forms of Love
According to Psychology Today, there are seven different types of love. They are all based on different emotional feelings, feelings of goodwill, familial relationships, and more. While each type of love has its place in our lives, today we want to focus on the two that have a place in any organization: Philia and Pragma.
What is Philia Love?
Philia love, often called brotherly love (hence the City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia) is the friendship love. This type of love is founded on mutual trust built through openness and dependability.
As a leader your goal is to develop this form of love. But you walk a tricky line with it. Your primary goal is to lead, to ensure everyone has the same vision and working toward the end goal. This can often mean making decisions that are in the best interest for everyone as a whole, but others may not agree with. Being overly “chummy” can cause feelings of tension.
The balancing act is to show philia love, creating that feeling of mutual trust, but also keeping in line with pragma love.
What is Pragma Love?
Pragma love can be defined as a love that is founded on doing what is in the best longer-term interest. It is the love the spurs couples to spend long hours apart, so that they can build the foundation they need for a fully functioning relationship. It’s also the love that spurs leaders to make decisions that may hurt in the short-term, but will allow an organization to be better poised for longer-term success.
Pragma is the root of the word pragmatic: a word which means to deal with things sensibly, realistically, and practically. It can be the tough decisions like requiring workers to work one Saturday each month so the company doesn’t fail. But it can also be the tough decisions of sacrificing upgrades so that employees have better benefits.
Being a leader that has perfected pragma love is being a leader that has created a space that people want to be in.
Growing as a Loving Leader
People will return to places where they feel loved and accepted. When you’re growing your organization as a loving leader, it means employees stick around longer, and customers feel a sense of belonging.
This Valentine’s Day, as you contemplate love, take it a step further and contemplate what it means to be a loving leader in whatever capacity you are in.