Serve to Lead presents a series of propositions:
—Leadership in the 21st century is about service;
—Leadership, therefore, is about love.
Love as a Binder of Life and Work
Many readers of Serve to Lead have commented on its unabashed focus on love.
We’re simply not accustomed to speaking of love as a practical issue. It’s presumed to be the ultimate “soft” matter. Therefore, it’s presumed without question, love is separate from a hard-headed focus on results, performance.
How out-of-date such a point of view is!
From Transactions to Relationships
In the 21st century, we are moving from a transaction-based world to a relationship-based world.
This is not entirely a new phenomenon. It’s accelerating mightily, transforming our lives and work.
The ultimate relationship is love. If we’re going to be effective in a relationship-based world, we must focus on love.
Limits to the Language of Love
The English language is not renowned as the language of love.
For all its glories, English is currently at a linguistic loss in distinguishing types of love.
Insofar as our language is imprecise, so, too our thinking may be less than clear.
There is, romantic love, family love, love of country. There is also love of comrades-in-arms, the great motivator amid combat. There’s the love of teammates in sports and business. There’s the love of customers for a company, or a company for its customers. There’s the love of a profession, a tradition. There’s love for future generations, or preceding generations.
Service is Love in Action
The essence of love in action is service; the summit of service is sacrifice; sacrifice touches the spiritual realm.
Placing your own desires, even your life on the line for others, draws upon and unleashes an escalating series of virtues. It might begin with good manners. It might approach physical or moral courage of the highest order.
How Can You Best Serve?
How are you serving—demonstrating love in action?
Where can you improve?
Do you see your service as a competitive advantage?
Do you apply these principles—strive for these ideals—in your life and work? Or do you draw a line between the two realms?
What additional service—love—can you exhibit today?
As in so many other situations today, the right thing to do is a competitive advantage, and the spiritual is melding with the practical.
The biblical injunction from 1 Corinthians 14:1—Pursue love—can resonate profoundly, practically in our time.