Why I Am An Advocate For Love
My calling is to bring more Love into our lives, especially our working lives, and into the leadership which influences most of our lives where decisions are taken that have profound impact on how we live and the quality of experience we have.
In the several years since I began my research into Love at Work, there has been an upsurge in organisations embracing more caring, compassionate means of operating, both towards their employees and towards the environment and the greater good of the world. Conscious businesses, ‘B-Corps’, environmental awareness, acknowledgement of the importance of employee engagement and happy workers, and more, have led to widespread debates, emerging spokespeople, and actions to improve conditions and curtail abuses.
There is still a long way to go, and many workplaces and environments exist where Love, caring and compassion are not preeminent as values or conditions for flourishing human beings. In some instances, it’s almost as if the world is going backwards in terms of wise leadership and constant stewardship, and bullying, lack of integrity and truth, and selfishness are on the rise.
Hope pervades, nonetheless, and it is heartening to see visionary youth and wise age combine to create movements for transformation and beneficial change. Heroines and heroes of all ages emerge and commit passionately to a more loved and loving world.
Challenges remain in understanding what ‘Love at Work’ means. When I began holding conversations with people about Love, it was vitally important that I clearly defined the context and firmly removed the idea of romantic love from the agenda, expanding the meaning to a broader, altruistic plane of caring, respect, loyalty, compassion – overcoming the paucity of vocabulary in English to define the many types of ‘Love’ which exist.
Putting myself in the position of advocate for love, for trust, caring, respect, unconditional love and compassion in organisations appears to allow the interviewee and respondent to access inner thoughts – gives them permission to think about ‘love’ in a new context. Most people think about love with regard to their family – their partners, children and traditional ‘loved ones’ – and not where the people they lead or work with are concerned. On reflection, they often see that there is room for such thinking and ideas to take root and sprout. I began to regard myself as a bridge and even a springboard between conventional thought and practice around employees as resources, cogs in a wheel, ‘efficiencies’, numbers – and the multiplicity of real, characterful people with wide spectrum lives, emotions, needs and challenges, who respond better to trust, nurturing and consideration (or Love) than to threats, fear and disregard.
It is a conversation which provokes thought – and it’s as if my own courage to take a stand gives rise to ground where a leader can also stand and feel okay to talk about Love, even if they have not really considered the word in a work context before. After all, this is not yet an area into which we are normally encouraged to delve. As a result, there have been instances of profound insights and changes of approach resulting from an exploration of what Love means to an individual in different contexts.
This is a pervasive response, and I find that most people will be willing to consider the perspective of whether Love in the Boardroom, Love at Work, is something that can enhance the landscape of organisations and improve the lives of millions of people. Our world is in dire need of more Love, more Caring, more Compassion and Kindness, and if I can contribute even a tiny shift towards that end result, my purpose as a human being is fulfilled.
These are some of the reasons I persist in being an advocate for Love; there is no greater, nor simpler way to a better world.
Simple, yes – Easy, not necessarily so.
Until next time …