Three Truths about Leading with Love

By Lisa Petrilli

I have worked with – and for – leaders who have led from love and several who don’t believe the word belongs in business.  The difference is utterly remarkable.

There are three truths of leading with the heart that crystallize when you’ve been blessed to work with someone who opens their heart to their company, their teams and their stakeholders, and who imbues their role with the grace of love:

1. Love enables you to inspire others by elevating your message

A CEO I was with this past week used the phrases, “speaking from my heart” and “what’s in my heart” effortlessly and on more than one occasion.  I was very moved by this and touched by his genuine commitment to his company and his team.

I believe when you use the words, “what’s in my heart” with your team you are telling them you’re opening yourself up to them and, inherently, trusting them and believing in them.

This elevates your message dramatically and inspires your followers.  After all, in our roles as followers we want to know our leaders trust us and believe in us, and when they do it makes it so much easier for us to trust and believe in them.

2. Love brings forth energy & passion that drives more significant business success

I have been blessed to work on a number of initiatives in my career that I came to the table very passionate about.  But only in a few instances have I been blessed to work with a team I really loved – a team that felt like a family.

It was the mutual love that brought out the energy and passion we had for our initiatives and enabled us to be wildly successful regardless of what we were working on. We cared about each other, we wanted each other to succeed and we wanted to succeed individually to better the team.

As leader of several of these teams I thrived on that feeling of mutual love and worked relentlessly on behalf of – and for the success of – my team.  It’s in these situations that you absorb and reflect the reality that there is enough success to go around for all of us in this universe!

It’s love that helps you see it.

3. Love enables long-term commitment and loyalty to our teams and our roles

As leaders we’re often put in positions where difficult decisions must be made and the stress level is astronomically high.  It’s only human to want to quit at some of these points.

Love is an engine that puts us back on course and enables us to commit to “the good times and the bad times,” the “ups and downs,” and to see difficult situations through to their conclusion.

A CEO I recently interviewed (blog post coming soon!) told me, “Lisa, there are three ways to lead:”

  1. By example
  2. By example
  3. By example

When you lead with love you set the ultimate leadership example…

What has your experience been when you’ve led with love?

Please share in the comments and join Steve Woodruff and me, along with the brilliant #LeadershipChat Community on Tuesday evening, February 15th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time as we honor Valentine’s Day by discussing “Leading Through Love.” We’ll share insights and experiences -you won’t want to miss it! Everyone is welcome!

I also highly recommend this post by Robbin PhillipsChief Love Officer – it’s one of my favorites on leading with love!

You can find me on Twitter at @LisaPetrilli and on LinkedIn at I look forward to seeing you there!

To hire me, eMail me at [email protected].

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Photo is Love Cloud by kelp1966.