Marcus Buckingham, author of First, Break All The Rules and 9 other books spoke to the Vistage Community about Love + Work his latest work. He described how in speaking with the HR Directors of publicly traded companies about love at work – loving your employees, loving your customers, they couldn’t even use the word. They could cautiously discuss loving customers, but employees, No, they were FTE’s, they were a budget number.

For small and midsized companies like those of most Vistage Members, we have an advantage in that we were not totally run by quarterly results. We can hold our people accountable in a loving way.

Here is Buckingham’s definition of love: “the deep and unwavering commitment to the flourishing of a human being”. If you are so committed, there are many ways to show that. For example, asking your direct reports: What they love doing at work? What are the times they got lost in their work? When do they feel inspired? What gets them excited to come to work each day?

He quoted a study of doctors done by the Mayo clinic. If 20% of their day, they get to do work they love, they are happy and fulfilled. What if we asked these questions of our direct reports? And, what if we asked ourselves these questions?

An immediate take-away that Buckingham shared with us was this: Have a 15 minute weekly 1-2-1 with each of your direct reports and ask just 3 questions: What did you get done this week? What is your plan for next week? How can I help? If you think you don’t have time for this, that you are too busy “leading,” he answered that objection with “this IS leading.” This is love + work.

If you are a Vistage Member, watch his video again and incorporate at least one practice into your day.

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