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‘All You Need is Love’ – The New Era of Business

 ‘…love is all you need’ as the Beatles so powerfully put it.

Generally not visible on the list of leadership qualities love will, however, become an increasingly important one. Important because of the role business and organisations generally play in the formation of human culture. A role played out in large part through relationships with employees, customers and all stakeholders – direct and indirect.

Building organisations around the expression of love will require a deep review of the fundamental purpose of a for-profit business. Legally speaking, its purpose is described as ‘any activity or enterprise entered into for profit’. Sadly, the focus on profit has taken us into a dark place where money has become the sole (real) driver of leadership and management actions.

Of course, money has its place. It’s an effective means of enabling exchange between an entity and its customers and employees. But as we know it’s become so much more (or I should say less) than that, tending to swamp even the best of intentions around employee engagement and giving customer value.

Travelling back on a train service this week, a member of staff said to me (of the lack of food, hot water for tea and coffee and generally poor service provision) that it was a function of the current franchise owner no longer caring because they are losing the franchise imminently. That may or may not be true – the point is that it’s a mind-set and a general view held by many employees in businesses across the world. A belief that all activity within a business is ultimately in service of bringing money to the pockets of the owners – often at the expense of the employees and the customers.

So back to love and the new era of business. What would that be all about?

Well, we’d still pay attention to a healthy flow of money – the key word here being flow. We’d be ensuring that common good, equality, fair exchange and circulation all sat in the centre of our philosophy about money. Business would be a place of real community where people are really seen and valued – all people in all groupings. We’d take time to listen, to really hear and to build meaningful outcomes together.

At the risk of all this sounding like a huge ‘love-in’ – well yes it would be. But a love-in that is linked to a deep and meaningful purpose, balancing doing and being. Yes, it would call for a revaluation of what’s important and the degree to which all of us – as employees, as leaders, as business owners and shareholders and indeed as clients/consumers, are driven by more self-focused, self-serving values and the degree to which we are truly willing to open our hearts and love – each other, our communities and our planet.

We often think about love as soft and maybe weak.

To love well takes great communication, a fantastic relationship built on equality and an adult to adult dynamic and a commitment to seeing the other with compassion.

We all need to shoulder our responsibility to show up in the right way and engage as adults. None of this is soft or weak. It’s hard to do and even harder to get right but the payback is a culture and way of living that means the time we spend together working becomes a meaningful expression of our whole life – not something to be endured.

Lorraine Flowerhttp://azzur.co.uk/
As a Corporate change agent, consultant, coach and mentor Lorraine founded azzur and is completely transparent about the spiritual principles on which it operates. Alongside her 18 years as azzur’s founder, Lorraine brings 20 years' service industry experience to bear through her senior leadership roles at British Airways (BA) and Great North Eastern Railway (GNER). It is Lorraine's belief in individual and organisational power for good that gives azzur its raison d'etre. azzur and Lorraine specifically has worked with clients across the business spectrum from financial services, to retail and transport to healthcare an in both the public and private sectors. azzur is focused on developing contemporary, spirited leadership capability, and organisations built on inspiring purpose, empowering cultures and a powerful vision and values. She is championing new models of leadership and organisational development founded on the principles of conscious leadership and writes extensively on these topics.She is a member of a number of global spiritual groups and communities serving the greater good of Humanity and the planet. She works and studies extensively in developing and exploring conscious leadership believing that business leaders are key players in transforming the well-being of the planet and humanity as a whole.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Lorraine – So well said. Most businesses and their leaders still function under the premise of profit as opposed to people. I had the rare opportunity to work for a CEO who knew otherwise. Her mantra was “We do well by doing good.” She was also fond of saying – and meaning it – “Profits sustain us, but they don’t define us.” If we take care of our clients and customers, they will take care of us.

    I was going to share this piece with with my UK bud, Garry Turner, but I see that he has already responded below.

    ps. Your Getting Unstuck interview posts on March 24th. I’ll send you a note beforehand.

    • Jeff – thank you – I love the mantra you shared – ‘doing well by doing good’ and I can say that slowly I am starting to hear another that goes along the lines of ‘if we keep our focus on how we treat our people the results will take care of themselves’. I’m thinking if one senior leader who has stopped looking at the numbers in order to get his team focused on the strategy, the behaviours and a healthier way of working…his financial results are very healthy…

  2. Lovely writing Lorraine, thank you. “We all need to shoulder our responsibility to show up in the right way and engage as adults.” – Just stunning reflection here, my goodness we have given away our innate brilliance and impact far too easily for too long. Such hopeful writing.

  3. “To love well takes great communication, a fantastic relationship built on equality and an adult to adult dynamic and a commitment to seeing the other with compassion.”
    AMEN, Lorraine! This sounds like something that @Heather Younger would enjoy!

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