🎹 Music for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7xMfIp-irg.
Do you agree that love is the single most important part of our lives?
If that is the case, why do we talk so little about it in our business life?
Love takes many forms, but love is what our life revolves around. It is our appreciation for love that drives our compassion for one another.
What does work have to do with love? Everything, and nothing.
When we deal with others at work — whether we are eliciting requirements, listening, solving problems, or just about anything else — if we do not remember that the ultimate goal is to allow people to spend as much time as possible with their loved ones, then we will surely fail. We would do well to endeavor to work as little as necessary in order to love as much as possible.
Some people seek to love their work. That misses the point. People should not be expected to literally love their work — or anything else inanimate, for that matter. Remember, your possessions or your job will not weep for you when you are gone. Only people or your pets will. American radio host Bruce Williams once famously shared: “Never love anything that can’t love you back.”
Try to look at how love is at the root of the professional decisions that you make. If you are developing an IT governance policy, is it to help ensure that your employees can sleep better or spend more time with their loved ones when they are not at work? If you are developing software, is the goal to reduce the time people spend working so that they can spend more time with their loved ones? If you develop a product or service for your customers, will it help them with their loved ones? If you succeed, will it help your employees earn enough to be more present for, and provide for, their own loved ones?
If not, why not? Is it possible that you or your teams aren’t making decisions with love at the core?
Why should anyone spend time having business discussions with you if this time doesn’t — in some way — result in more or better time with their loved ones?
More to come. In the meantime, love.
Postscript, February 2023: Two and a half years later, The Economist published another set of thoughts on this topic that is worth your time.