| A blueprint for leading in love (not just talking about it)
, October 14, 2009
It has been a long time since I've read a book that has left such a deep impression, and more importantly, given me an overwhelming sense of hope.
John Hope Bryant's Love Leadership doesn't so much teach new concepts as distill what great leaders of this past century have practiced and promoted — Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Gandhi.
But what this book does (and does powerfully) is make the five tenets that John Hope Bryant proposes, doable.
Bryant's searing honesty is the "special sauce" that makes the message stick. His personal anecdotes are shared without sugar-coating. And then there's his wonderful ability to make every statement a profound "quotable quote" ("You are the best asset and the worst obstacle in your life." "Loss fires your spirit, and it steels your mettle.")
I finished reading Love Leadership last Friday, and recommended it to a friend on Saturday who went to the bookstore in the next hour to buy it. I'm currently re-reading it and I think I will be re-reading it many times over, and putting Bryant's advice into practice. This book has given me a blueprint for how to take my organisation to the next level — by going back a level and fixing the foundation. The story that sticks with me most is the one about how Operation HOPE found itself short on fulfilled pledges for 2008 because of the economic crisis. Most leaders would have accepted this as a natural side-effect of an ailing economy but not Bryant. He got in there, rolled up his sleeves and got to work raising funds. Operation HOPE ended the year raising more than what was originally pledged.
Bryant lives what he teaches: "Fear is a prosperity killer." "It takes the power of love to banish fear… that love takes the form of long-term business relationships built on caring and doing good." "Love leadership puts love into action."
So should we all.