How Love Makes a Leader a Leader

Heartshaped Crowd with Leader at the Head of it
Free Download, "Leadership as Connection" (Link at the End of this Post)

I’ve always thought that there was more to work than the work. We give our work meaning. Without the meaning we give to it, work seems like just “moving stuff around.” This is true whether that "stuff" is ideas or services or widgets or widget parts. When we get too serious about the moving stuff around part, and don’t balance that with the human-value part in the equation, well, work’s not as fulfilling or fun (and make no mistake, fulfillment and fun are big parts of employee engagement).

What’s love got to do with it?  Love makes a leader a leader.

~Lucira Jane Nebelung

Sure, whatever we do serves others, and creates new opportunity, and creates value. Nevertheless, that value is quite literally undeliverable unless there is a “someone” to perceive it, and receive it.
When I’m working with clients, I like to coach them toward both bringing more of who they are to their work, while appreciating the rich diversity of  personality and value among those with whom they share the workspace. This sort of mental/emotional practice can add a dimension to our business lives that makes more engaging and rewarding. Within the space of this approach, it is easier to both deliver and receive value.
Yes, “who we are” matters in our work, and some companies are stretching to transform their practices and culture to encourage this awareness, and invite greater employee engagement, performance, and work satisfaction. Still, it’s a strange thing how many of us cling to rather antediluvian, mechanical, management practices—approaches that in the best cases, invite mediocre engagement, and in worst cases, are quite dehumanizing. 
Now, against this backdrop: is the business world really ready to talk about love in leadership? 
Enter my colleague, Lucira Jane Nebelung, who has made a well-researched, and eloquent case for doing just that:

Lucira Jane Nebelung:

What Mark points to, is that management is about work, the reliability, predictability and certainty of things, objects and outcomes.  Leading is about people, generating potential and possibilities from purpose, relationships and contribution.  Since the primary concern of leaders is people, one might consider that when leaders stand for and come from a deep intention of wellbeing and fulfillment for all, what I call “Leading as Love”, through care, understanding, respect and responsiveness, the rest takes care of itself.  Love is a “simple” answer, but not necessarily “easy.” 
It comes down to a fundamental understanding of the nature and purpose of leading:  Leading is about embracing our humanness and establishing common ground that fosters contribution and creation.  Without an intention of love, all the actions, skills, tools and practices are empty and meaningless and leaders and organizations lack both integrity and authenticity.  We might think of care, understanding, respect and responsiveness as meta-values that permeate every action an organization takes.   
When love is present, we see that people and organizations thrive; its value in business is clearly demonstrated in the article below.  One might also consider the possibilities for Leading as Love when extended to other organizations such as government/politics and education.  I venture that it might enable us to create sustainable solutions for most, if not all, of the world’s intractable issues and problems.
What’s love got to do with it?  Love makes a leader a leader.  
We welcome your thoughts, questions and personal experiences posted in the comment fields below.   Lucira Jane can also be contacted at

~Lucira Jane Nebelung
LINK TO THE PDF: You can click here to download a copy of Lucira Jane Nebelung’s “Leadership as Connection: A Radical Approach”

Thank you for reading!


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