Love – Where does it belong?

Thanks to the numerous discussions and comments the original article (Love – what do you think it is?) as well as the follow-up (Management – Do you need Love, Care and Trust?) have compelled me to write this.

Due to the fact that the LinkedIn people got stuck into this with a vengeance, the general direction of the original article has changed somewhat. It has moves to a more “professional view of love, where does it fit and is there room for it at the workplace.

I personally prefer discussions to pure comments – it compels you to react to the environment and forces you to THINK (Yeah I know it hurts).

Where does it belong?

In one of these discussions that I have mentioned the most interesting statement was made – “People need management – but only one kind – Personal or Self Management. This is the stuff our parents and grandparents tried to teach us – The value of integrity, honesty, trust and love i.e. to be decent.”

We all like to bend the old saying – “Do onto others as you would like them to do onto you.”– My favourite – “Do unto others before they can do unto you.”

But I have come to a realisation that the principle is – “Do onto yourself before you do others as you would like them to do onto you.”

This brings me back to a theory:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: one cannot reach self-actualization without meeting basic needs

(Very Short Summation of theory) – What a man can be, he must be. This level of need pertains to what a person’s full potential is and realizing that potential. Maslow describes this desire as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. (Many criticisms have been raised against this theory, but few groundbreaking theories don’t have these.)

If this theory is true in even the slightest margin, I understand that it means the following – If I am personally involved (in a number of facets of my life) and interact on the “Safety” level, it is near impossible for me to interact with others on the “Love\Belonging” level. Seems simple enough-

Well not really as an example – The boss is financially more secure than his assistant but the assistant may have a vibrant and satisfying family life which the boss doesn’t have – it gets messy real quick as you can see. If the assistant (in the example) is aware of his “lead”, he can react to his boss in an understanding manner. (Simplistic but understandable I hope.)

Personal values and Personal Management now becomes something of substance.

If we then allow ourselves to do onto yourself before you do others as you would like them to do onto you, then we experience the positive return not only from personal acknowledgements (pat yourself on the back) but you will experience positive feedback from the people around you too. This seems to me like a win-win situation.

Funny thing – it is not limited to any organisational structure. It is simple if you are kind and behave in a decent manner you will be rewarded in kind. (What you sow – Chapter in “The Management Imperative”.)

So it is true – You have to love yourself before you can love others and you have to help yourself before you can help others (Please help us, to help you to help yourself and eventually others – Slogan – FutureTrust)


If you are like me and prefer discussions to comments visit the forum at FutureTrust. The forum has the advantage that it allows people from different social networks to interact freely. Log into the FutureTrust Forum using any of these:

If you enjoyed the conversation and you like exploring life-principles please look at my book The Management Imperative.

Have a fantastic day….


5 thoughts on “Love – Where does it belong?

  1. LinkedIn Group – Innovative Leadership & Change Management Expert Innovators…

    Linda McLean • Hi, Anton.
    Your question has been on my mind for a few days.

    Yesterday, I went to the Cowal Peninsula – a beautiful and remote part of Scotland. There, in the peace of the wooded hillsides, with the views over Loch Striven, we were far from the madding crowd.We had followed a single track road with passing places
    and then stopped to have a picnic – to walk the dogs, watch the wildlife, the distant shore, the boat bobbing in the water. It was a magnificent, if isolated, spot.
    The tragedy was that, even here, people had camped, eaten, and left behind detritus, rubbish and broken glass.

    My husband, who loves his country, was furious. “Why don’t people care?” he demanded.
    The answer to your question came to me in a flash.
    You are talking about love as an essential ingredient to the mix. Love is a driver – a catalyst. Its capacity can be enhanced or diminished by various other factors.As in Martin Luther King’s statement:
    “Love without power is mere sentimentality: love with power is Justice.”

    From some of the comments, I believe “love” has been confused with sentimentality.
    Somehow, today, the capacity of love has been demeaned. We are talking about caring or valuing, in today’s terminology. Caring for society, the community, neighbours – caring is the word we use now.
    But you rightly question love’s place.
    Can anything really worthwhile be achieved if you don’t love and don’t care?

    A quote I heard frequently as I was growing up was:”The opposite of love isn’t hate: the opposite of love is indifference.”
    With that in mind, can anyone name an example of a lasting structure/business that was based on apathy or carelessness?

    Am I heading in the right direction?
    Kind regards,

  2. LinkedIn Group – Innovative Leadership & Change Management Expert Innovators…

    Sapphire Mccullough © • Love is a fatal bargain made with selflessness…

    Love is the wisdom which determines Justice tempered by Mercy…

    Love is binding force that no mercenary can unbind…

    If these conditions exist in leadership then one cannot demean ‘love’, it is that there is a simple naivete about it’s existence, force de majeure, and that throughout civilisation there have been incredible acts of courage based purely on such a profound feeling between leaders and their allies, and staff.

    Janet Williams Kemp • This is quite possibly the most important query anyone has yet raised in a corporate environment to date. Love, of the pure, human-to-human variety, when present first in a way that underscores all speaking and interacting, fosters business decisions based on the greater good in lieu of business decisions based on the fatter wallet. This, then, impacts the world and its people such that the fatter wallet benefits humankind in ways heretofore unprecedented. Imaginations become unleashed. Environments become cleaner. Families remain more readily intact. Community as a way of working and interacting is the norm. Happiness is a given, not an exception. Operating from a foundation of love, each person sees and meets the other’s needs, spoken and unspoken. So essential tasks are performed more readily. Forwarding action more quickly.
    As the song from my generation says, “All you need is Love.”
    @Anton, I am most proud of you for having the courage to step forth with this kind of thinking. I hope to live and work among a new generation that my generation fostered.

    Sapphire Mccullough © • @Miles

    “Serving like a follower -v- serving like a leader”

    You make some valid and interesting points.

    When we are afraid of connecting with others and afraid to use the word Love because it can be misinterpreted (due to societal rules) then such paradoxes become illusionary, and this is the ego-crap that we all either coax others or justify ourselves in our own actions… When really if we look below such bravado, or political stratagem we discover that love both true or twisted can often be the underlying driver that passion pushes forward with… whether it is a love of a concept, an ideal or of power… Obsessions even…

    It is often easier for us to say we love our work and then to do our best then to say we love our fellow mankind and THAT is the real reason for our acts of integrity. Any act of integrity that isn’t based on a love of humanity (nature, and life <- living beings) is empty and futile.

    We are often weak that we are more proud to admit we are logical than that we are kind… and that then makes us limited.

    @ Sergei, if the emotion is pure and unfettered it can turn an idea into a flawless piece of art, and engage an audience to excel beyond their previous inclinations…

    Balancing the middleway between love, harmony, co-existence, and intelligence tempered by passion, emotion and energy and we start to emerge as more than our fellow men, and stand shoulders above others who are less capable… particularly in Leadership.

    I love the film 'SHANE', (Alan Ladd) I use it often as an analogy, there you see love driving so many elements of light and dark, the love of power and control, versus the love of a family unit and hope for a new future… The very elements that are prevalent in all industries and societal groupings, and civilisations…

    Sapphire Mccullough © • @ ZIONA, be fearless mylady at your attacks on the poorly crafted sentences of any of us that uphold a view or present one… I don't think anyone is so over sensitive to take it personally, afterall the best debates and learnings have come from witty repartee and frank candid exposures of weak thought…

    I think it is wonderfully articulate of everyone here to share their take on a word that has such a wide and infinite definition and that as every society since Man was able to think, feel and differentiate, then set up rules – we have found it important to compartmentalise which emotions we should display, curtail, limit, demote, relegate, or prioritise, exhalt or deplore…

    Now take Cleopatra… she deployed every emotion with elegance, craftsmanship, and intelligence… such perfumed gracefulness has lost its peacock charm in bureaucratic censorship… Bring back cinnamon appetisers I say, up with love down with boring grey indifference! 😉

    Miles Kierson • Sapphire,

    Wow! Shane! I didn't think anybody living would know that movie. Now I'll have to find it and watch it one more time so I can glean the messages that you do from it.

    Sapphire Mccullough © • The scene when Jack Palance (in the vein of a cold velvet cat like creature such as Lee Van Cleef, or Yul Brynner in Westworld) arrives on his horse and pads around, walking his horse backwards as he is pawing the ground is one that often brings to mind a boardroom scene with some new hostile new rooster ready for the inevitable scrap, against our worn down but experienced weather beaten hero…

    One has embedded love pulsing through his veins and the other steel cogs and titanium joints. Sometimes it seems financial decisions are poorly restrictive like the black hat metallic character, because the activists have all the facts and figures like new bullets, and they miss the very (endearing magnificence) heart of the core business and lose its value, as they phase in elimination of what they cannot factor or price.

    Sergei Dovgodko • @Linda: "The opposite of love isn't hate: the opposite of love is indifference."

    — Indifference is a classic attribute of any bureaucracy.

    One of implicit goals of any bureaucratic process (within so called "industrial model" of the corporation) is taking the human element out of the "production process". That is, more indifference — less variation; less variation — better control. Better control – better predictability of the results — an important objective of business management methods.

    Examples are abound.

    It the opposite story for people who subscribe to the "post-industrial" school, where passion and other feelings are an integral part of business. Gary Hamel writes a lot about the human centric management experimentation. One company that is very impressive in this respect in Netflix.

  3. LinkedIn Group – Self-Actualization – Actualizing Your Best and Highest Self

    Jodie Lapchick, Cause Branding Specialist • Trust, care, and yes, love have always worked for me, both personally and in business. It seems the people I know who don’t trust are 1) not trustworthy themselves and 2) tend to get screwed a lot.

    Michael Birchmore • People will only do business with those they like and trust.

    J Walker Rugino • In my church this month, the topic is Charity, which into translated into loving kindness, which is distinct from sentiment. The Course in Miracles talks about love as the motive force, whose opposite is fear. For me, I think trust is the acknowledgement of the motive force that drives loving kindness, and for the people who don’t manifest it, we are better off not dealing with them.
    My problem seems always to have been along the lines of my family motto, “I know it’s a bad idea, but I’m going to go ahead with it anyway”, when I take a job because I need a job and only afterward find the snakes in the garden.
    Presenting a false face to to reassure those “under” their authority is impossible to maintain over time, but often, as an employee, it’s a case of “too little, too late”.
    Now, when prospective employers ask, “Have you ever been fired?”, my thoughts run along the line of, “Yes, but only after the misrepresentation has been exposed” – but there’s no option for that in little “yes” or “no” checkboxes, and if you speak of the misrepresentation, it’s considered bad-mouthing previous employers, which puts you in a bad light.
    I don’t lie because I can’t lie; I’m an Aries 3x, and what you see is what you get, but having that trust in the universe at large is sometimes misplaced when honoring it in other people, who present one thing, but represent another.

    J Walker Rugino • But the original question is: do we need love, care and trust? I would have to say “no”, “maybe” and “yes”. According to what I’ve read in McKinnon’s book, “The Unchanged Mind”, fulfilling the role of parent (and by extension, any role of authority) entails providing acknowledgement and the setting of limits. Do these two things, and the rest seems to fall into place. Teach the setting of limits, and people learn to set their own limits. To the degree that acknowledgement entails “love” in the broadest sense, it is indispensible to any relationship, and it becomes crucial in a relation of authority to subordinance.
    I did a presentation to a group of high school kids last semester where I diagrammed Power, Authority, and Responsibility. I started out with the Spider-Man theme, “With great power comes great responsibility”, and tried to show how Authority runs like a stream through that formulation – having the responsiblity of using the power to come to the proper use of authority – and I was rather impressed with that, once I actually got to discuss how that relates to parents, teachers, law enforcement and politicians.

    Deborah Hill • I agree with Jodie on the trust comment. Trust in your own truth and be wary of those who automatically distrust others.
    Love and caring are essential for a meaningful and a successful relationship, whether in business or with friends and family. It starts with self, however. Self love and caring are the backbone and love and caring for others a blessing for all.

  4. Pingback: Why – The practical side of Motivation. « Anton van den Berg – Blog

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