In the English language, we leverage the power of the adjective to differentiate the types of love that we encounter in our life. Words like romantic, brotherly, and unconditional are such adjectives. Alternatively, the Greek language offers six distinct words to describe love; these words are agape, eros, philia, storge, philautia, and xenia. Regardless of the variants of the concept of love, we most often regard it as a soft, fluffy, vulnerable, and overly emotional thing to avoid in the dog-eat-dog world of business.
Trust is something that entrepreneurs recognize as a critical component of conducting business. In expressing trust, one must be confident that the other party will follow through with their commitments, have your best interest in mind, and authentically desire success for you. At its core, trust is the by-product of exhibiting a type of love toward those who you serve.
When love is absent from your daily interactions with your clients, vendors, and employees, trust begins to erode rapidly. Avoidance of frank conversations, resentment, and suspicion of ulterior motives abound. The value of the engagement diminishes into a cold transactional association. When love abounds in your interactions, listening carefully to identify explicit and implicit needs becomes second-nature. Team members are respected, encouraged, and grow in their strengths. Collaborative engagements foster outcomes that exceed expectations.
When exploring your business’ core values, consider whether success in business is even possible without the presence of love. Are there any acts that a company, its team members, its vendors, or its leadership would not benefit when it comes from a place of love? When we choose to act in love, we establish life-long relationships with those who are impacted by our business; and that is essential in any long-term business plan.
What’s love got to do with business? It is its beginning and end, the catalyst, and its only lasting legacy. Love has everything to do with it.