Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

The Payoff of Love and Acceptance

As I mentioned in yesterday’s posting, I’m going to be interviewed on our local radio station tomorrow on the topic of “Love in Business”. While preparing for this conversation, I am reminded of the lament of a well-known management consultant. Eight years ago, he and I had dinner and he asked me the question, “Do you think it’s possible to have love be the guiding principle for a successful business.” My answer at the time was, “I don’t know.”

Tomorrow my answer to this question is, “Yes.”  Love, at its essence means acceptance. Acceptance seems to have gotten a bad reputation. Many say that if I accept something, I’m capitulating, when I should be trying to change things instead. Actually, I can change my perception of anything, I can change my experience of anything but I can’t change the truth of anything. Truth is the way things are, without judgment or interpretation .

We are accustomed to immediately interpreting everything we see, think about, touch, taste, smell and feel. We then believe the interpretation is the truth. For example, I can taste a food that has been seasoned with tabasco sauce. I might say, “WOW, that’s really spicy.” I could also say, “Hmm, that tastes great.” Whatever I’m saying is my interpretation of the sensations received from my tongue.  The truth of tabasco sauce is that it’s a liquid that has as one of it’s ingredients capsicum frutescens peppers, and it’s aged in white oak barrels for three years. My wanting Tabasco to be different than this doesn’t matter.

Acceptance means that I don’t overlay my bias or judgments on myself or others. I accept things as they are. This loving acceptance brings a big reward. I can see clearly. I am not clouded by any personal distortions. Acceptance doesn’t mean that I turn away from correcting an error or putting things back in right order. Acceptance means acting with equanimity, rather than following my emotions or misperceptions.

What do you find repeating itself in your life? Perhaps at the root of this pattern is something that you don’t accept. Instead you want it to be different than it is. Try letting go of this need for it to be different. You might be very surprised.

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3 thoughts on “The Payoff of Love and Acceptance

  1. Thomas…I am reminded of that wonderful book by Byron Katie called LOVING WHAT IS. You are so right; things are just the way they are. Our interpretations, judgments, likes, dislikes,etc., are what get us into fixations, worries, blame, etc., about what we are actually creating! Acceptance is a wonderful word and this reminds me to accept things exactly the way they are! Thank you.

  2. Dito Garcia on said:

    In the book 1776, the author passes along the observation that one of the key things that made George Washington such a great leader was “his ability to see things as they were, and not as he wanted them to be.” If you extrapolate from here, you could argue that our whole country is based on love.

    • I’d forgotten this point of David McCullough in that wonderful book. I don’t know if I would extrapolate quite that far. I can see how George Washington was a man of deep love.

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