(Excerpt from Love is Not an Emotion)
People want you to accept them for who they are, and show them you care about them. In my professional career there were several instances in which I was thrust into leadership, responsible for staff that needed a boost. I challenged myself with determination to love them—no matter what challenges we faced, obstacles we had to overcome, and deadlines we had to meet. Together we pressed into the heart of the matter.
Teams want to be celebrated and appreciated.
They want an opportunity to develop their gifts and talents in an environment of trust. I learned to lead by following love. I had to develop a habit of asking myself, “What would love do?” Honestly, I didn’t want to do what I knew love would do, and I had to ask the Lord to help me.
In an expression of faith, I grew determined to look at others through what I perceived to be God’s eyes. What would Jesus say? I decided he would say:
- I love you.
- I trust you.
- Let’s do this together.
- Grow up, develop your gifts, and express your talents.
Together we discovered we were free to become who God says we are, and within the boundaries of what we have agreed to accomplish based on our job descriptions. I encouraged them to do it, and they did. Through simple acts of kindness—words of encouragement, cheer, applause, compassion, and loving correction, I watched my team and myself bloom, grow and touch each other with God’s kindness.
We need each other.
One of the team members once brought me a book called, The Crayon Box That Talked. The book tells a story of a box of crayons. One color didn’t like the other, yet as they saw each other work his gift of color, they discovered they could create beauty together that they could never attain without each other.
That little book gave us a vivid picture of ourselves. I trusted them to be there for each other—to motivate and inspire one another—and pick each other up when they failed. My team picked me up a number of times when I’d had the wind knocked out of me. Love does that.
Love is Not an Emotion is available in paperback and on Kindle.