Love and Standing on the Skinny Branches

In our community a friend of mine publishes a twice-weekly newsletter of sorts that lets over 1,000 people know what’s happening and what’s for sale. This email delivered service is a must read for many. I have the habit of reading this newsletter as soon as it arrives. Sometimes there are great bargains that sell quickly that I don’t want to miss by not acting. I also love to see what everyone is doing.

Last night, I noticed that the newsletter arrived in my email inbox and immediately clicked on it. The first part lists upcoming activities. One of these activities was a promotion for an upcoming episode of a local radio program called, “The Heart of Wellness.” I know the program’s hosts and wondered who was on this week. As I read, it began to dawn on me that I was the guest this week. I laughed out loud as I realized that I had the experience of seeing what I was doing without remembering.

What was more surprising was the topic, “Love in Business.” My insides began to cramp up and I felt a bit queasy. It’s one thing to write a bit about this in my conversation here. It’s a whole other thing to talk about it on the radio with other people. It wasn’t panic so much as disorientation.  I felt that an important moment of my life was approaching.

When I first wrote about this topic, I asked, “What would your business world be like if love was out in the open, and guided your decisions and actions?”  Good question, and perhaps not the best starting point. To answer this question means we have to talk first about the question, “what is love?”

There is a library of books that talk about love from many perspectives – religious, philosophical, emotional and physical. We are offered many interpretations of the kinds of love that people experience. It all seems complicated and not quite right. The love I’m talking about is unconditional love – love that is offered freely with no strings attached.

Unconditional love is not something we have much experience with. Our relationships are for the most part conditional. Most of my friends love and accept me, as long as I conform to their perspective of what a friend is. If I stray far from that..well, the conditioning sets in. The same is true with life-partnerships. When things are going well or we want the world to think they are going well, we will say that things are good. Have the apple cart upset by some unexpected betrayal or other breach of trust and that old conditionality comes roaring to life.

Unconditional love can’t be experienced through my thoughts or emotions. Unconditional love requires me to be 100% present. That means that all of my attention is on the NOW, not the future or past. We spend so little time in this space, we can begin to see why unconditional love is elusive.

Since we are not often feeling unconditional love what can we do? We can, first of all, not pretend that conditional love is something it isn’t. We can practice acceptance of whatever we face without judgment. In a business context, this is a very powerful way to act. We all know that when we are judgmental of others or not liking what we are facing, our perceptions are clouded and the decisions we make are not our best.

This is the starting place to understand why love in the workplace is essential. Starting today, I will begin to write more about love and work. I invite you to share your feedback and experiences.

Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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