“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.” Vince Lombardi
Legendary hall of fame football coach Vince Lombardi is arguably one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NFL. Football historians and fans still talk about this legendary team, The Green Bay Packers as one of the greatest American football teams in history, winning three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.
Lombardi was viewed as a hard-driving, tough football coach but one who loved his players dearly and was passionate about growing members of his team in a highly intimate and personal way. In Kevin Cashman article The Three L's of Leadership: Love, Listen and Leap, Kevin had the opportunity to coach many of Lombardi former players who transition into their business career, all of whom spoke about Lombardi in an entirely different light.
Many of his players said “I have never been so loved by someone outside my family. We all knew he would do anything for us…anything. We would go through walls for this man.” Lombardi earned the right to drive his talent to the limit because his intense drive was balanced by his equally fierce caring.
According to Lolly Daskal, the most critical factor that differentiates a good leader from a great leader is LOVE. Yes, you heard me. Love! The best leaders want to be liked. They want openness from others. They want to be understood, appreciated and communicated with. Leaders who do not care and are cold-hearted or cold-blooded are not very successful leaders.
When you Lead With Love, success follows. The best chemistry that leaders can have with their followers are that they care and share. Managers can drive businesses, but what separate the great companies from the good ones are leaders who care deeply for their team. According to Fernando Vilas, these leaders are capable of inspiring others to follow them, even in very adverse situations and are capable of transmitting a message to each person in their team, touching the most buried feeling inside of their people. They give purpose to the organization, explaining the personal reasons to achieve them as opposed to following an order from a manager.
They understand their employees’ needs, and they genuinely care about them. They give to their followers the importance that they deserve by soliciting feedback and engaging their people in topics of a personal nature as well. They enter into real valuable dialogues that build a healthy relationship between leader and follower.
One of the best places to begin in leading with love is to exhibit much patience and kindness toward other people (without forgoing accountability and expectations), to always hope for and to see the best in others even in the most challenging of situations, and to seek the highest good in all that is done. All of this is easier said than done according to Adam Meyer; It is scary to think about intentionally putting your wants and needs behind the wants and needs of others.
But loving others and living for others is tremendously more rewarding since you cannot call yourself a leader if you do not genuinely care about every member of your team and you cannot lead effectively if you do not love the people you are leading.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 140,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
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