Do you want customers to love your company? Do you want your employees to love it too? Of course you do, but do you really? Do you really want them to LOVE it or do you use the word “love” as just a quaint colloquial term that’s really just a slightly more dramatic version of like? Or maybe you never use the term love because it’s too touchy-feely for business?
Steve Farber, author of The Radical Edge, The Radical Leap, and Greater Than Yourself, takes on this thinking head on in his most recent work, Love Is Just Damn Good Business. Farber is a leadership teacher, coach, and writer who has made his life work about promoting love as a primary key to good leadership, good service, and good business, and this book gets right to it with no fear or apologies.
Unlike his previous books where he tells a story to illustrate key principles, Love Is Just Damn Good Business contains no fictional tale, rather, it is set up around Farber’s signature quote: “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” After a preface where he describes how he came to the work he loves, Farber introduces love as a key business principle and competitive advantage. He then divides his signature quote in three parts as headlines for each three-chapter section as follows:
- Do what you love, i.e. do work that you love and have a passion around, find things in your work that fulfill you and allow you to fulfill others, and ensure you are standing up for your values in doing all of it.
- In the service of people, i.e. your work is really about serving others so you need to ensure you do it ethically and morally or it’s just not love.
- Who love what you do, i.e. when you serve others (both customers and employees), they love you back with customer and employee loyalty, repeat business, low turnover, and high engagement.
Essentially, Farber’s formula is simple, invest in yourself so you can invest in others and they will invest in you. Of course, it’s not about money, it’s about love. Love yourself and the work you do, love those around you and help them have better lives, and in the end, you will reap rewards that grow the bank account in your heart as much or more than the one where you keep your money.
To get a taste of Farber’s style, you need look no further than my two favorite chapter titles: “Love is a hard-core business principle. Deal with it.” and “Get over yourself.” He’s fun, smart, and edgy, but more importantly, he’s passionate and honest in a way that proves his belief in his message.
And if you’re worried that this might just be a “concept” book, fear not, all along the way, Steve gives us engaging, real-world examples of people and organizations living out everything he talks about.
Steve Farber is one of the best and most accessible business writers around. I highly recommend this title and the ideas. Love is indeed damn good business and something we need more of.
I conclude here with a few favorite quotations from the book:
“We need to realize that service is not servitude; it is not menial labor. To care for people, no matter how difficult or impolite they may be at times, is, in fact, a way of life for us, whether we realize it or not. We all care for somebody. We care for clients, for family, for community, for friends. And by doing so more consistently and more intentionally, we can, even if only in small ways, have a positive impact on one another’s lives.”
“Love is when people walk into your office and say, ‘Do you have 5 minutes?’ and you know it’s not going to be 5 minutes—it’s going to be 30. You know it as soon as they walk in, and you turn your computer off, and you look them in the eye, and you pay attention to everything they have to say, and you actually hear them.”
“As more and more people—including you and me—operationalize love as a core business strategy, it will change the world for the better. As in the “whole wide world,” as we used to say when we were kids. But we are kids no longer. We have big responsibilities.
We have an obligation to make sure that our collective future is markedly better than the present.”
Hear, hear, Steve!
Learn more about Steve Farber’s Extreme Leadership work, his other titles, and his podcast, Love Is Just Damn Good Business at https://www.stevefarber.com/
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