Darling Magazine

Love Your Way to the Top

Business is too often about fear: fear of the bottom-line, fear of competition, fear of being enough. But, as Maya Angelou said: “Have enough courage to love.” As we see it, love trumps fear. It’s time for us to bring love out of the corporate closet.

Love is no longer an idealistic, soft, useless concept in the business world. Science and experience tells us that love is, by nature, among our strongest capabilities as human beings. It therefore belongs among our most powerful leadership tools. As leaders, every moment presents us with a choice: to lead from fear or to lead from love. The betterment of our world and our welfare hinges on how we lead from love.

Love is what unites people. According to Barbara Fredrickson, love grows in micro-moments of connection in which two people’s minds and emotions become momentarily attuned. We are hard-wired with this capacity to connect—with strangers, with our spouses, with our children, with our employees—though we often choose to shut it down. When we don’t shut it down, love is the connection that builds families, communities and organizations. When love is present, we lead confidently and courageously because we are fueled by a purpose bigger than our ego. It’s the force that drives ideas forward into action, creating new possibilities and innovation.


Three Ways to Ignite Your Brain

We spend over half of our waking hours each week working. While the dream is to be on fire and fully inspired every minute, the reality is that for many of us those 40+ hours are an unfortunately draining experience. Not feeling inspired or engaged while you are at work—a place meant to be about contribution, creativity and collaboration—can be a lead indicator that some serious shifts need to take place.

According to the Gallup Research Institute, “Only 22% of U.S. employees are engaged and thriving…70% of American workers are not engaged or actively disengaged.” That’s a grim reality.

Here’s the good news: shifting your work experience from being disengaged to lit up with inspiration is in your hands.

The key shift we’re offering is simple: become the owner of your role, your career and your life, not a passenger on the bus to Boredville. By tuning into your experience, seeing where your goals lie, and then stepping into your voice, your expertise, and your leadership, you can be the catalyst for a completely different experience. You can become the CEO of your own life.

Disclaimer: we’re not saying it’s time to write ‘the memo to end all memos’ or throw down the world’s most epic departure speech (although for some of you, it might be time to pull a Jerry Macguire – you know who you are). What we’re advocating is even more powerful than throwing everything out the window. It’s to take back your future and empower yourself with choice.

Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and author of Thrive, writes, “We need to redefine success and create a life of well-being.” It’s time we start choosing this for ourselves instead of waiting for someone else to create change. Arianna says she hires her team for their “judgment not their stamina.” In other words, choose yourself by being smart and selective, not by working yourself into the ground.

Here are three concrete steps to move towards radical ownership — being the CEO of your whole life, including your productivity, your health and your happiness — and igniting a culture of ownership in the environments that surround you:


5 Steps to Leading Your Business Without Losing Yourself
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