Valentin Russanov via Canva Pro

Photo courtesy of Valentin Russanov via Canva Pro

Love Beyond Reason

Leadership Tool

Not everyone would consider love as a leadership tool. For some, it may seem mushy and weak to talk about being a leader who loves first. Maybe you believe it makes you look vulnerable to give care to those you are leading. I would disagree. In fact, my opinion would be exactly the opposite. I would say that this tool probably should have been the first one I covered in this leadership series, for in reality, it is the most important one.

Without it, leadership just doesn’t work. People follow those they can trust and there is nothing more trustable than genuine love and concern for the mission and the team walking towards it. I have led teams with strict management. I have led teams in control of each decision. I have led teams where I let the cards fall where they may. Where I turned a blind eye to things that should have been addressed in the name of keeping the peace. Neither approach worked. The only thing that worked was when I let love lead my actions and my team.

Leading a team can be one of the most challenging tasks. Different members of the team will see things differently. Some will like each other, and some will not. Personalities will get big while others fade into the distance. You will have wallflowers and bulldozers. The beauty of the distinct talents and gifts and skills we have been given will shine through, but with that uniqueness comes different perspectives. When God puts together a team, he will bring all kinds of varied mindsets into the mix because He knows exactly what you need to get the job done. Look at the disciples. Quite a mix. A mix that can be challenging to guide but can do great things.

This must be the one consistent thing. It is the glue. The one common denominator any personality can connect with. When the waters rise and the team must push through, they will appreciate a leader that leads with love and encourages them to do the same for one another. It brings a reason to the why and a heart to the mission.

And it is not something you can fake. People can tell when your heart is not in it. It will show through if you are just there to earn a paycheck or check a box. It is no mistake that the instructions “love God, love people” share a common word. It is no mistake that we are meant to be recognized by our love, not our Jesus fish on the back of our car or our newest Christian t-shirt.

When we operate our lives, our jobs, and our leadership from love, we are able to look beyond what the world claims as important to the why that runs the show. It is important to submit on time and do a thorough job. It is a necessity to provide quality results and grow and build. But the factors that keep teams and organizations stable include the longevity of the people involved and the passion they put behind the work they produce. You want people who want to be there and want to give their all to even the smallest task. Teams that feel encouraged, that feel a part of a community, are more likely to complete their tasks at the highest level. They literally put their heart into it if you put your heart into them.

Beginning your mission with love does not mean you buy multitudes of gifts for your team or give them extra days off or turn your head to issues and concerns. It means that you make your decisions with the best interests of the humans in mind. You lead them with healthy and respectful boundaries. You set goals that consider their input, skill sets, and gifts. You have real, open, honest, and kind conversations about the struggles they face and stand beside them to help them improve. When you work with the best interests of the individuals and the team in focus and eyes fixed on the one who loved you first, the mission will thrive. They will want it to grow as much as you do.

This is the tool that you wear as a banner. That you keep with you at all times. The one you grab and extra of because you never know when you may need it. As a human, you need it every second. As a leader, you will need it even more. When love is the reason you lead, it will become the reason they follow.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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