Leading with love is the key to success. Understanding and caring about what motivates and empowers others is essential to leading with love. Love is about respecting individuals’ differences and their processes for growth. It is about caring enough to understand what is significant to them and supporting them in achieving their goals.

The secret to leadership effectiveness is to lead with love. Love the people you lead, and your leadership effectiveness will improve dramatically. Many studies have demonstrated that having a solid and supportive relationship—whether romantic, familial, acquaintanceship, leadership, or otherwise—can lead to enhanced self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem.

Whatever shape it takes assists people in incorporating safer habits into their daily lives, lowers anxiety (concern, nervousness), lessens the risk of depression or another mental disease, and fosters prospering and thriving. Here, we will explore the psychology of love in leadership and how it is so effective.

A Leader That Loves Is a ‘Good’ Leader

Psychology of love in leadership

In values-driven leadership research, Colonel Joe Ricciardi discovered that employees who feel loved by their leaders are considerably more likely to regard the latter as a good leader.

It’s a natural extension of loving your employees to lead them. So, how do leadership and love link in an organization?

Ricciardi’s research, which drew on studies from psychology and other sectors, found that the three aspects of love, “closeness, desire, and devotion,” all had a high positive link with leadership, but intimacy dwarfed them all.

He says that because you have put time, sentiment, and positive energy into developing a meaningful relationship with co-workers, you have shown dedication, and your love will shine through.

Creating intimacy at work can be as simple as taking a few additional minutes each day to notice fresh family photos on the walls of an employee’s cubicle and stopping to inquire about them, or recalling a particular event and giving a simple handwritten letter. 

Intimacy does not have to be synonymous with romance. A leader can build intimacy by reaffirming the organization’s commitment to team members’ priorities. For example, when a team member expresses a desire to attend her child’s sporting events, the manager will make every effort to accommodate her.

It can go even further, such as assisting employees with larger financial goals, assisting a worker who wants to buy a home, setting up a savings plan, or learning more about mortgages or real estate.

Love Is Leading From Within

Psychology of love in leadershipTo be a leader who leads from a place of love, regularly practice the right leadership style. Continually strive to improve and inspire others, no matter how accomplished or successful you are. Everyone wins when they lead with love. It is advantageous to your company, relations, health, society, and culture.

Love Is Not the Opposite of Hate

Psychology of love in leadershipLove is more than a feeling; it is an action. To love means to feel and act lovingly. Love is a complex definition because it evolves and changes over one’s life. Love is not possessive or dominating, and it is not about ownership. Accepting and making room for the other is what love is all about. Love is a solid and long-lasting neurological process.

Contrary to popular belief, fear (rather than hate) is the opposite of love. Fear is a crippling emotion. Because we are terrified of being incompetent, fear leads us to act irrationally. We shake our heads in embarrassment when we recall something “stupid” we uttered six years ago. As humans, we feel a wide range of emotions, yet they always stem from either love or fear.

Love makes leaders and other people do the exact opposite of fear. While fear is all about self-recrimination, pride, and worry, love is about hope, courage, and confidence. The ego drives fear, but love moves a fulfilled life – a life well-lived. In truth, love is the driving force behind everything that matters in life.

We withdraw from life when we are terrified. All aspirations for a better world hang in the boldness and open-hearted vision of those who embrace life when they are in love. 

When you lead with love, it is more likely that you will not be subject to harassment allegations or complex entanglements. Leadership at a distance is neither inspiring nor appealing. To fully acquire the loyalty and trust of people, leaders must show love.


The Final Word

It takes a special kind of leader to hold a space for someone and listen while letting them go at the right time and not having that emotion against them. Leading from your heart, regulated by logic and reason, turns out to be a long-term approach for building trust, loyalty, and involvement. So, in 2022 and for the next decade and generations to come, it is time to rekindle your passion for leadership by showing love and care for others. 

If you would like to get certified for free, start the process here now. 

Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute and the author of more than ten books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion’s Field Guide, In Great Company, and Best Practices in Talent Management. Thought leaders and executives voted him one of Global Gurus Top 10 Organizational Culture thinkers worldwide.