Book of the Quarter: Love Works

Love Works: seven timeless principles for effective leaders, by Joel Manby, Copyright © 2012 by Joel K. Manby

Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

EPub Edition © MARCH 2012 ISBN:978-0-310-33569-6

“Mustard Seeds” I highlighted from Love Works:

When the host asked me what was behind our caring culture displayed on the program, I said, “Well, we actually use love to define our leadership culture at HFE. Not love the emotion, but love the verb. We train our leaders to love each other, knowing that if they create enthusiasm with their employees, the employees will in turn create an enthusiastic guest experience. I think most organizations avoid discussions about how people should treat each other, and I think that’s what is wrong with a lot of organizations. Why are we so afraid to talk about love?” (page 13, Kindle Edition).

Treating someone with love regardless of how you feel about that person is a very powerful principle. This type of love is the basis for all healthy relationships, bringing out the best in ourselves and others. It can make us great spouses, great parents, and great friends.
Great leaders too.
All too often, however, when we read the word love, we automatically think about romantic love — the emotional kind. What I’m talking about, however, is love the verb, not the emotion. I’m talking about actions, not feelings. I’m referring to a set of behaviors that people use to build a healthy relationship with someone regardless of how they feel (page 31, Kindle Edition).

Agape love is the foundation for the best and noblest relationships that humans are capable of. It is deliberate and unconditional love that is the result of choices and behaviors rather than feelings and emotions (page 32, Kindle Edition).

At Herschend Family Entertainment we specifically focus on creating an enthused workforce that treats the end consumer with kindness. We know this works, because we are consistently rated among the friendliest parks in the industry. All employees (including leaders) are given a kindness rating as part of their annual review, a rating that measures enthusiasm, passion, and encouragement. We employ both a kindness metric and a corporate-wide expectation that leaders demonstrate passion and enthusiasm.
We do all this because it sets the tone for the entire organization. Kindness isn’t an add-on — it’s a critical component of any well-run organization. Kindness is the root of encouragement, encouragement leads to enthusiasm, and everyone benefits (pages 61-63, Kindle Edition).

I called Jack and asked, “How do you do it? We’re all busy with conflicts and demands on our time, so how do you always seem to write the perfect note at the perfect time?”
Jack’s answer shed light on how to practice kindness. “I spend the first twenty minutes of my morning reflecting on the day before,” he told me. “I think about what behavior I saw that should be encouraged, and then I write a note to reinforce it and to say thanks.”
What a powerful thought: spend part of every day actively encouraging behavior you want to reinforce! When I focus my first efforts of the day on writing encouraging notes, it puts me in a positive frame of mind to start the day — so I’m a beneficiary along with my employees. In fact, I’ve come to believe that the definition of CEO needs to be expanded. It also stands for “chief encouragement officer,” for this is a vital responsibility for any executive (page 66, Kindle Edition).

When we interrupt or respond without taking account of what others have said, we send several messages — none of them good:
My idea is greater than your idea, so I don’t have to listen.
Interrupting you is okay because your response isn’t that important.
I’m not listening to you because I’m already preparing my response. The truth is this: interrupting is a sign of distrust (page 73, Kindle Edition).

Listening well is critical because it demonstrates trust and builds a team’s sense of camaraderie and cohesion. Poor listening is more than forgivable rudeness: it’s a breach of trust and not a quality of leading with love (pages 74, 75, Kindle Edition).

One of the best ways a leader can demonstrate trust and respect is to listen to and involve team members in the decisions that affect them (page 76, Kindle Edition).

He can’t help everyone, but he and his team live by this phrase: “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone” (page 102, Kindle Edition).

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. — Max DePree (page 111, Kindle Edition).

Order: Love Works

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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