What goes into creating a humans first workplace? Marcel Schwantes is a keynote speaker and the and Founder and Chief Human Officer of Leadership from the core. Today we’re talking about that four-letter word: love. What does leading with love mean, and what does it look like in action, and how does it help people — and businesses — flourish? Listen to the full episode here:
What’s fueling the energy behind humans first movement?
Love. It’s the most powerful force in the universe, and as humans, we are wired to want to experience love. The definition of a true leader is somebody who meets the needs of others. If love is absent, then fear takes its place, and Marcel shares a personal example of what this fear-based toxic work environment can look like.
What makes a workplace humans first?
It’s putting love into action, like when leaders:
- Care and model that behavior all the way down to the floor
- Have patience and self-control over their emotions
- Remove themselves from the spotlight, and put the spotlight on the employees
- Build and nurture a trusting community
- Are authentic, meaning: they’re approachable, emotionally honest, and communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly instead of sweeping things under the rug
- Are transparent; they show their true selves instead of hiding behind a mask
And these are things that have been repeatedly backed up by research. The evidence is overwhelming in favor of human-centered leaders and workplaces.
What does love look like in the workplace?
It takes the form of agape love: unconditional love rooted in behavior towards others, without regard to their due. It’s what leaders should be striving for, because it’s an actionable type of love. It’s a verb, not a feeling.
Coach Vince Lombardi said of his team, the Green Bay Packers: “I don’t necessarily have to like my players and associates. But as their leader, I must love them. Love is loyalty. Love is teamwork. Love respects the dignity of the individual. This is the strength of any organization.”
What does a leading out of love look like?
Many airlines were going out of business and laying people off after 9/11, but Jim Parker (the CEO of Southwest at that time) said, we are willing to suffer some damage, even to our structure and stock price, to protect the jobs of our people.
The result of sticking to values and putting people first? Loyal and committed employees, higher-level performances, and the only profitable airline throughout that period. When you put your people first, profits take care of themselves.
Another way to show love is to release control. Share your leadership with your followers to empower them not only to succeed in their roles, but to help create a leader-leader culture rather than a follower-leader one. Steve Jobs said: “I don’t hire people to tell them what to do. I hire them so they can tell me what to do.” Help them take ownership of their own decisions and do what they do best.
As for Garry Ridge, becoming a human leader meant getting comfortable with three powerful words: “I don’t know.” For him, ego is a barrier to leading effectively.
Leaders are humans first, too
There are leaders who fear their roles because they don’t want to fail. They don’t want to be seen as weak leaders. So there’s usually a facade that keeps them from being authentic and connecting with their team. This is why many end up leading through fear and managing through power and control.
A true ‘humans first’ workplace involves everyone from the very top of the organization at the highest level, all the way to the least tenured position.
What’s one thing you could be doing right now to improve the life of one of your employees?
Transform YOUR Team!
If you’re a leader who is, or wants to be entrusted with the transformation of your team, join me and 6 other leaders for a year-long journey of transformation that will help you release your brilliance, and help others do the same. Email Kevin@Kevindmonroe.com to begin the application process.
Resources for Marcel Schwantes