Why we must lead with love
Was there ever a more crucial time for us to lead with love? For our fellow humans. For our planet. For our future and the legacy we’re creating for the generations to come.
In these past days we’ve seen the tragedy and trauma of Covid-19 extended with the senseless death of George Floyd, among others, and a collective outpouring of grief and anger at the unequal treatment of members of our human family.
We are at a point of enormous change and opportunity. As leaders we have a choice about which way the future goes…towards a better world or not.
Now is the time to decided what we stand for, as leaders and organisations…to be a force for good, to contribute to a better future for all in which we embrace diversity and treat all as equals and with dignity and respect, and then live that reality – in our thoughts and the words and actions that result.
However developed our empathy skills we can’t truly understand the experience of others – the subtleties, nuances and emotional disturbance of that experience. It is unique to the individual. What we can do is start to educate ourselves about inequality. We can undertake the deep personal inquiry and reflection needed to uncover our own biases (unconscious or otherwise) and we can draw on others for support in helping us uncover our blindspots.
If we really want to shift the dial on equality and diversity this is essential work, for us as leaders personally but also to challenge those around us to undertake. We can make similar deep inquiry into the cultural norms and accepted behaviours in our organisations, and into the fundamental structural restrictions on achieving equality and diversity. We can take responsibility for this alongside our diversity leads rather than seeing it as just another function within the business.
The Covid crisis has shown us the interconnectedness and interdependence of everything in our world and our appreciation of and desire for that connection. Whether that’s with our families, with our neighbours, with our workmates – we’ve realised the importance and true value of our connectedness and interaction. Now is the time to demonstrate that valuing to all our brothers and sisters.
We must lead with love, bringing to the fore the qualities of our heart – compassion, caring, kindness, courage, discernment, an ability to listen and connect deeply with others, genuinely walking alongside and taking the courageous action against unfairness and inequality.
Making this the foundation for our leadership will help ensure that our relationships with all our stakeholders, including the wider world, are in right, positive balance. And it will help us reorient the purpose of our organisations so that our efforts and those of our people are focused on building a better world for all.