3 Loves Needed for Great Leadership

There are three loves every great leader must have: Love for the Mission, Love for the People and Love for Character. These three loves set the foundation for great leadership.

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The Three Loves of Leadership Dancing
Great Leaders Have a Foundation of Three Loves: People, Mission and Character

Love for the Mission

Love for the mission shows in all the leader does. Passion flows from one who loves their mission. With this love, leaders inspire and motivate their people.

Without this love you won’t be a great leader in your field. For example, many business leaders are really in love with the money, or notoriety of their role.  Therefore, opportunities to boost these benefits in the short-term, that hurt the mission in the long-term often win out. The net result is failure of leadership for the organization.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Love for the People

If you don’t love your people, you will fail them and your role as a leader. The most common faltering of potentially great leaders is their abuse of people. Without love for all your people, you run the risk of benefiting one group at the detriment of another. In business, this is often seen by an excessive emphasis on investors and a lack of investment in employees.

Love for your people ensures care and concern. This does not mean lowered expectations or “taking it easy on them”. To the contrary, it often means pushing them harder and helping them grow.

“I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”
-Tony Hsieh

Love of Character

We’ve seen powerful and successful leaders take major and rapid falls from failure of character. The apparent family-man who is exposed for the long history of adultery, or the politician who sold her vote to the highest bidder. If you do not love your own character, you will fail in the shadow of temptation.

People follow and mirror the actions of those they wish to emulate. Therefore, a strong character is prerequisite for anyone of character themselves.

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
-Abraham Lincoln

If you don’t love your mission, find one you do. If you don’t love your people, listen more. If you don’t love your character, fix it. For, if you want to be a great leader, these three loves will build a foundation upon which your leadership may stand. Without them, your foundation is weak and cracks spread rapidly.

Question: What other loves must a leader have as their foundation? You can leave a comment here.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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