Monday, February 14, 2011

Who Do You Love?


Several years ago I asked the people I work with that question. Specifically, “Which clients do you love the most?” More interesting than the answers was the speed in which everyone was able to respond. There was no hesitation as grown men and women – some road weary and hardened by the world, were able to freely and easily proclaim their love of particular clients.

I didn’t ask why they loved the clients they chose – but none could resist signing the virtues of those who had earned their affection. The reasons were as varied as, “They always pay on time” to “They get us and it’s always a pleasure to be with them.”

When they spoke, they pitched forward on their toes, appeared lighter on their feet and a sparkle danced in their eyes. As they continued to speak of these exalted clients they almost seemed giddy, certainly confident, and overwhelmingly pleased.

Now, to me, that looked a lot like love. Unfortunately my follow up question didn’t elicit as much frivolity.

“How much time do you spend with those you love?”

The swift wind that had filled their sails moments earlier had just been zapped, their magnificent sailboats stalled at sea as the air visibly deflated from their chests.

Excuses were mumbled over tightened lips – but it didn’t really matter what the reasons were, the result was the same. Neglect. Everyone one of them knew that love suffering from neglect could easily go away. It may be sudden or gradually – but it is inevitable.

Whether it be clients, employees, colleagues, family or friends – are you spending enough time with those you love? If not, start – because fundamentally there is nothing that you could possibly be spending time on that is more important or worthwhile than the people you love?

There are two ways to remedy this. First, shift your priorities to spend less time on the “burdens” and more time with those you love. Second, simply love more. Whether it be clients, employees, colleagues, family or friends – lead with a loving heart.

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