Love and Leadership

Mon, 2012-02-13 20:35 -- tomjonez

On Valentines Day there is a lot of talk about love.  OK.  What does that word mean?
For instance:  It would be a bit of a misnomer to say that I love my wife of 36 years (and I really do!) and then in the next breath to say, "I love chocolate."
I'm just sayin'...

I think the challenge is that in the English language we only have one word for love:   
Maybe the Greeks had a better idea a couple millinea ago.  They had at least three words for love:

  • Eros referred to physical love (root for words like erotic);
  • phileo referred to familial love (like between two brothers);
  • agape - a word for love that, I believe, relates directly to one of the highest attributes of leadership: selfless other-centered love.

This third word, agape (pronounced: a-gop-ay), means in essence, "to choose to act in the highest interst of another, regardless of the personal cost to oneself." 
The best leaders always lead with this third-kind of Greek-language love.
Such leaders seek to serve with the highest and best interests of others in mind, regardless of the cost to self.  Simply stated, this kind of love is the mission statement of true leadership.
As those who have the capacity to influence others, You and I, as leaders, have the privilege and honor of loving those we lead.  That is, the third-Greek-meaning form of love - selfless love.
So there it and leadership.  Let us know your thoughts, and especially today, have a Happy Tuesday
Oh, and by the way, I do love chocolate.