We’ve lost love in leadership.
More than anything, this profound loss is why inauguration day felt so dark for so many.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So, where do we go from here?
We, the people, must embrace love as our ultimate goal and personal responsibility. We must strive for a selfless love, an agape love that voluntarily suffers for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. A love that is unafraid. A love that will stand in the face of persecution.
Leading with love compels others to follow. And using your highest strength for the greatest good creates a virtuous cycle. Megan McDonough, CEO of the Wholebeing Institute, writes that loving leadership has one intention: to elevate and fill yourself and others.
We love great leaders because they grab us on an emotional level, transcending the ordinary, giving us hope. These leaders help us think beyond the world as it is, to imagine the world as it should be.
We are now the leaders. So, let us be servant leaders. Love leadership is the only thing that can sustain our shared success, as in John Hope Bryant’s Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World.
A word of warning: the fear of loss leads to misguided love.
Many feel a loss of country, voting to make it “great again”. It seems that the love of country, a new fervent nationalism, has risen out of grief. But are we to love the country itself, or the ideals and freedoms for which it stands?
I fear the consequence of seeking American profit and prosperity first, country above all else. What will be the cost? Can we fulfill our national interests and remain a servant leader seeking liberty and justice for all, in the world?
Now is a time to be vigilant, lest our love be misguided. If we retreat to our proud corners, we will surely become a threat to self and others.
I am not a nationalist, but I remain a faithful patriot, full of hope in our American ideals. I stand ready, in love, to serve my fellow citizens.
We are ALL in this together!