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Leadership – Loving The People

Written by: Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Leading isn’t easy. One of the most difficult aspects is understanding where to draw the line between being too formal and too informal. This can make effective communication difficult and even lower the effectiveness of the leader in question. While I can’t tell you exactly how to navigate the professional mores at your organization, I can – and will – tell you that overcoming these concerns and leading by loving the people is important. You must find a balance between showing people you care about them on a human level and sharing too much or too little.

Group photo of colleagues standing in the office in co-working space.

If there is anything I have learned over the years, it is that you really cannot overestimate the value of leading with love. For many different reasons, from respecting your employees’ and coworkers’ growth potential to acknowledging and understanding their individual differences, showing you care for your employees is maybe the most important thing you can do as a modern leader.

Let’s take a closer look at leading with love and what it means for your workdays.

Establish Professional Intimacy

When you think about your own relationships, what means the most to you? For many people, feelings of closeness and trust are the most valuable. This is called intimacy, and it is a critical part of building healthy relationships. It is often used in a romantic context, but it is not inherently tied to romance. In fact, many intimate relationships have nothing to do with that at all! Your relationships with your best friend, your partner, and your parents, for example, are intimate in nature.

Maybe you already see why establishing professional intimacy at work is important. When you trust someone intimately, you are more likely to hold them in high esteem and affection. You might even be willing to work through difficult times or in the face of office upheaval with the understanding that they ultimately have your back. You want to build close relationships with your employees, and doing so isn’t difficult. Consider stopping by their office or cubicle every morning to say hello, and maybe noticing new family photos set out. Go out of your way to accommodate important changes in your employees’ schedules. A father who wants to see his child’s ballet recital, for example, should warrant accommodation (within reason).

Be Human

Don’t worry so much about appearing as the smartest, most qualified person in the room. Relate to employees on a human level. I explained this a bit above, so I won’t spend too much time retracing my steps, but the importance bears repeating. No one wants to work for someone who is arrogant and sometimes insulting. They want to work for someone they like and who they believe cares about them in return. Be human to your employees. Share personal stories that relate to what employees are telling you. Crack jokes and listen to what everyone has to say.

Be Proactive

Another important way to show love at work is to be proactive. Using the same example from above, let’s say one of your employees is a father who wants to see his child’s recitals in person throughout the year. If you know they happen every Tuesday evening, take that into consideration when building schedules even if they don’t ask you to do so. Talk to employees about projects and ask if they need help before they ask for it. Little things like this can be critical when building intimate relationships with employees and showing love in leadership.

If you are ready to take your leadership to the next level, keep my tips about showing love in the workplace in mind the next time you’re in the office. You’ll be surprised by how much they help you build loyal relationships with everyone around you.

Visit Santarvis on his LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more information.


Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Santarvis Brown has spent 15+ years serving as a leader, innovator, and changemaker in education, showcasing in-depth insight as an administrator, educator, and program director. A noted speaker, researcher, and full professor, he has lent his speaking talent to many community and educational forums, serving as a keynote speaker. He has also penned several publications tackling issues in civic service, faith, leadership, and education.



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