Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, says love is reason some leaders and their organizations are thriving – and, he adds, “practical love” is a characteristic of the very best, most effective leaders in the marketplace.

Here’s why.

“Top-down bosses who spread fear are notorious for killing intrinsic motivation,” Schwantes explains. “And when that happens, good-employees-turned-order-takers stop exercising the very traits employers wish to see in their people -- that of being proactive, creative, and motivated self-starters.

Holding people back

Schwantes warns: “When fear permeates the air in command-and-control dictatorships, employees don't take risks, use their full brain capacity, and perform at their best.”

“To borrow a line from the important work of a colleague of mine, Reneé​ Smith, founder of A Human Workplace and director of workplace transformation at Results Washington: ‘It's time to decrease fear and increase love at work.’”

What employees want

According to Schwantes, “Regardless of what generation you identify with, every employee with a pulse wants to be treated like a valued and respected human being with the freedom and safety to use her God-given brain. To that end, every human being wants to ‘feel loved’ at work.

But for that to happen, leaders have to know how to express what Schwantes calls “practical love.” That, he says, has three characteristics:

  • trusting and believing in the people you lead;
  • putting your humility on full display, realizing it is actually “a top leadership strength;” and,
  • being able to actively listen to the needs of others.