Love Works Wednesday Link Up Week 3 – Kind

Last week, I continued a Wednesday series based on Love Works by Joel Manby.  (Click here to read my first post in this series, and click here to read last week’s post based on Patient Leadership).  A blogging friend of mine, Bill Grandi (The Cycleguy), recently challenged readers to consider linking up with him for several weeks with posts related to this excellent leadership book.  To read Bill’s introductory post for this series, click here. And to read his post from last week, click here.

For today, Bill and I (and anyone else who’s linking up with us) will be posting about the fourth chapter (Kind:  Show Encouragement and Enthusiasm).  Check out Bill’s take by clicking here.

If you recall from last week, Manby’s premise is that leadership is best when it comes from a position of agape love based on I Corinthians 13.  Since I already read the book, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the sentences I underlined when I read the book initially:

  • “Kindness doesn’t mean being nice all the time; leaders must hold people accountable.  However, kindness does mean that encouraging and leading are two sides of the same coin and that words of affirmation and support can be infectiously effective.”  (p. 52)
  • “Making someone’s day better is contagious and increases the energy, effectiveness, and productivity in any organization.  Even when leaders feel concern for what lies ahead, we must give off positive impressions and encouragement if we want our teams to thrive.”  (p. 55)
  • “’Loyalty today is no longer a function of rote or duty, but rather passion.  You must do things so astonishingly well that customers become not merely loyalists, but rather outright apostles.'” Skip LeFauve – CEO of Saturn (p. 58)
  • “’Treat the customer as if it was your own mother buying'” Skip LeFauve (p. 58)
  • “Make their day better – not because you have a mushy need to be liked or to be softhearted, but because it works!” (p. 59)
  • “The enthusiasm of the guest experience can never rise any higher than the enthusiasm of your own employees.” (p. 60)
  • “Kindness is about intentionally creating and maintaining the right environment in your organization so that frontline employees can deliver an enthusiastic guest experience.  Management is kind to employees, employees are kind to customers, and customers are loyal and enthusiastic.”  (p. 60)
  • “Kindness isn’t an add-on – it’s a critical component of any well-run organization.”  (p. 61)
  • “Money can never buy contentment at home; nor can it buy passion at your job.  Working with an enthusiastic team and being supported by kind, loving coworkers is priceless.”  (p. 64)
  • “Spend part of ever day actively encouraging behavior you want to reinforce!”  (p. 66)
  • “Kindness in the context of leading with love begins with you – encouragement and enthusiasm start at the top whether you run the local PTA or a Fortune 500 company.”  (p. 67)
  • “Being kind starts with you and is a key attribute of leading with love.”  (p. 67)

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to be treated with kindness.  Yet, there are so many unkind words and actions exchanged by leaders, co-workers, colleagues, and even customers.  Wouldn’t it be much better if we all practiced the golden rule?  Treating other people the way we would like to be treated is such a simple idea, but it often seems to be forgotten.  Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of the busy schedules we all keep.  Maybe it’s the scars left by wounds of the past.  Maybe it’s a complete numbness to the reality around us.

Whatever the reason, kindness isn’t put into practice as often as it should.  We run over each other on the way to the next meeting or on our way to the next rung of the corporate ladder.  When will it stop?

Here’s an idea:  It can start TODAY with you and me.  That’s right, whether you hold a leader position or not, you can decide today to be kind to those around you – in your workplace, in your church, or in your home.  Don’t wait for others to be kind first.  It may never happen.  Instead, take a step of kindness today, and watch what happens.  Kindness is contagious. Be the start of something amazing!

Over the next six weeks, Bill and I will continue to explore love based leadership.  I hope you’ll read along, jump into the comments, and maybe even change the way you lead.  Until then, consider getting a copy of Love Works for yourself, and see how this book might change you and your leadership.

What is one thing you can do differently this week to lead people with more kindness and love than before?  How have you been led with kindness and love-based leadership?