Good leadership makes love happen!

Posted on: June 1, 2015

Do you desire to be a good leader of an organization or team? Then you must develop the skill of making love happen!

Even in the toughest challenges and adversity a leader faces, love is a powerful force. As I was researching military leadership over the Memorial Day holiday, I read the remarkable message of Lieutenant Colonel Joe Ricciardi. As he stood before his battalion of 1,000 troops charged with clearing the roads of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan, his message to them was simple and powerful: “You need to love one another.” Even those tough guys in the face of life-threatening circumstances got it!

Later in his doctoral studies, his dissertation was on the same topic of leadership and love. His research concluded that a team member who feels loved by his boss or leader is significantly more likely to see their leader as a “good leader.” I love what Ricciardi says about love. He defined love as expressing “intimacy, passion and commitment.”

  1. Intimacy as knowing and caring about the personal lives of your team members in an authentic and appropriate way.
  2. Passion as the positive energy you as a leader bring to the team, the enthusiasm with which you tackle the day and communicate with others and the way you live and describe your mission.
  3. Commitment as the dedication to the well-being of others and to the shared task.

If loving one another was the most important message Lt. Col. Ricciardi could give his troops in the face of life-threatening and debilitating circumstances, then how equally important love is for leaders in an era where people are looking for love expressed as genuine, authentic caring.

My conclusions about what makes good leadership are not drawn from my doctoral studies but from my life experience university: Leaders must make love happen with intimacy, passion and commitment!

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