I love sharing the best of what I have learned in my long life and career. Mostly, I speak about simple financial systems and UN-complicated business planning.
However, in most of my presentations, the conversation settles on employees. You need some help if you are going to clean up your financials, set up great scorekeeping and craft a plan for making business better. Your team will solve all your problems for you. You can help them achieve their dreams and goals, too. Pretty sweet, right? And it starts with love.
When I suggest this in a key note, some folks in the audience nod knowingly. Some cross their arms and knit their eyebrows. Of course, I hone in on them.
“What do you think about that? About loving your employees?”
Recently, one fellow, said, “I like them. But, to love them? I think that’s going too far.”
Then he told me of an employee who burned him. He shared that a trusted employee ripped him off, started his own company and persuaded a few other employees to go with him. Ouch. That isn’t the first time I have heard this story. However, my encouragement is to love anyway, even if you risk getting hurt. Does putting walls up help or hinder when it comes to developing meaningful relationships? Business, and leadership, is all about relationships.
In my presentations, when I ask the question, “Who has a problem finding great team members?” lots of hands go up. You can start to solve this challenge by not talking badly about the team members you already have. Don’t double down on the impossibility of your situation by reinforcing how hard it is to find great people. Instead, watch your words…and tell the people in your life already how grateful you are for them. Tell them you love them.
Another fellow who resisted my recommendations said, “That’s tricky because, I don’t really speak to them. They speak Spanish and I don’t.”
What if you committed to learning their language, and you offered to help them with English? What would that say about you as a leader? It’s a bold, loving move.
One woman shared, “What if I have to fire them? Or let them go? Wouldn’t it be easier if I kept a safe emotional distance?”
Is there such a thing as a safe emotional distance? People come into and out of our lives and businesses. What if, while we are together, we do our best to love and support each other? And, just because someone doesn’t work for you, doesn’t make them worth any less. While you work together, commit to making a positive difference in each employee’s life. They may leave, or you may let them go, and you can love them no matter what.
A leader who inspires me everyday with how he loves his team is Howard Partridge. He cares for team members like they are his family. The best part? They love him back. That’s how you build a team, an empire…and opportunities for all.
How about meeting Howard and me in Houston in October? You’ll meet his awesome team, and can tour his cool company. And the speaking line up is rocking. (I’m on the roster, too!) Here are the details.
“All you need is love.” ~John Lennon and Paul McCartney