In the pre-pandemic world when I would step out on stage to talk about leading with love, I’d notice some initial discomfort in the audience. They shifted in their seats or broke eye contact with me until I explained what I meant. Now with everything we’ve been through, people are craving better relationships with everyone in their life, including their leaders, and I don’t notice that awkwardness anymore.
Love comes in many forms, and from a leadership standpoint, it starts with empathy. When you have a mentorship mentality, you want to help the people you’re leading to do better and express the best strengths, skills and qualities inherent in them. You might see something in them that they didn’t see themself and reassure them that they can count on your support every step of the way to help them jump out of their comfort zone to take a leap forward.
Leading with love doesn’t mean you’re going to baby them. It means you care about them enough to want to see them reach the next level and guide them along the way. Your goal is to help ensure their success.
Great leaders build other leaders, but it has to start with trust. Trust is built when you come from a place of empathy and when the person you’re mentoring knows you have genuine care and concern for their well-being. Find out what their dreams are. Discover where they see themself in the next one, three, five years and work on ways to help them get from point A to point B.
I believe strongly that people need inspiration more now than ever, especially since they’re not having as much human connection and they’ve gotten more used to technology. They want to make sure that those moments when they do have human connection really matter.
Mentoring is a different form of love. You love the people you’re mentoring enough to want to see them get the most and the best out of themself. You love them enough to catch them when they’re heading down the wrong path. You love them enough to have that tough conversation. I can’t tell you how many times over the past couple years when I’ve had a tough love conversation with someone that it actually ended up bringing out the best in them.
Here at EXIT Realty, most of us in leadership have been working together for a long time. Mentorship involves about ten percent input and the rest of the time our leaders are free to do what they want with no one looking over their shoulder. We’re a cohesive team, all focused on the same goals, and we have each other’s back. I’m here for direction and to take their hand to help them get to the next level. And to me, that’s leading with love.