This week’s guest is executive coach and thought leader, Steve Farber, who teaches that love, rather than being a soft skill as it’s widely considered, is a hard-core leadership principle that helps shape winning businesses and elevates the customer and employee experience. Steve authored the seminal book, The Radical Leap — widely considered one of the top 100 business books ever written. He is the President of Extreme Leadership Inc., and he recently released another book, Love is Just Damn Good Business. He chats with host Marcel Schwantes about his latest work.
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- At work, we have the opportunity to create a transformative culture and quality experience. If we do, we can impact our businesses, our customer experience, and our lives, for the better. [5:19]
- Love is the core of great leadership and it’s at the foundation of any thriving competitive business. [6:32]
- Steve presents the business case for love as a strategic advantage. We need our customers to love what we do for them because that’s our competitive advantage. The only way to create that kind of experience for our customers is to create an environment where employees love working. [8:04]
- I can’t create or contribute to a culture that people love working in unless I first love it myself. [9:04]
- Marcel asks Steve to unpack the formula for putting love into action: Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do. Steve explains that this means doing what you love, to serve people in such a profound way that they love you in return. [9:43]
- Steve explains the LEAP model of leadership: cultivate Love, generate Energy, inspire Audacity, and provide Proof. Love is not just the first element of LEAP, it makes the other elements possible. [13:00]
- Leadership is not about your position or title, it’s about the way you engage in the world around you and your ability to influence people to change things for the better. Leadership by its nature is extreme because you’re involved in the act of transformation in some way. You’re stretching and growing your own skills and capabilities and doing that for the people around you. [15:23]
- Love is a must-have. It affects our bottom line, our productivity, our profitability; it gives us a better chance of increasing market share and reducing turnover. [20:27]
- Applying the principles of love means raising expectations and standards; at the same time, your tolerance for substandard behavior goes down. [22:50]
- Ask yourself: Why do I love this place? Is there something in this experience that I love? How do I show it, or how do I show it better? [23:02]
- Marcel asks, Why do so many leaders still lead with an iron fist instead of love and compassion? Steve thinks it’s because it’s easy to leverage your position of authority; that some people enjoy having power over others; and many people think that’s the way a leader is supposed to be. [36:21]
- A leadership question anyone can ask themselves: What can I do right now, regardless of what anybody else around here is not doing, to change my piece of this organization for the better? [40:38]
- Marcel adds that regardless of your position or status, you can impact your surrounding environment. [42:50]
- Steve encourages listeners to find something in your life that you love doing, and do it just because. That simple action will spark joy in your life. [44:00]
- Marcel reminds us that when love is baked into the employee experience, the customer experience is going to be off the charts and they will reciprocate with loyalty and referrals. [48:37]
- Harold MacDowell: Servant-Leadership is Love in Action (Episode #19)
- Rich Sheridan: Creating Joy at Work (Episode #4)
- Renée Smith: The Benefits of Love in the Workplace (Episode #16)
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As we challenge current management thinking and practices with a clear goal to raise more awareness and to build skills around human leadership and human-centered work cultures, we would be delighted to accept your sponsorship for future episodes. If interested, contact Marcel.