Is there room for a romantic in business?

“Give everything, quantify nothing, and create something greater than yourself.”

This subtitle to Tim Leberecht’s 2015 book “The Business Romantic” hooked me. In it he acknowledges the need for more engaged workers in our workplaces and calls upon the power of business to “transcend mere rationality and self interest and move toward deep, passionate exchanges that honor our most complete selves.” Whoa!!

What would this work environment look like if we stumbled across it?

He calls for “intimacy over transparency, mystery over clarity, devotion over data, vulnerability over control, delight over satisfaction and love over liking.”

Does that get your heart fluttering? Is there really a place for this fluffy stuff in our Western business culture where “lean” and “busyness” are squeezing out niceties like workplace festive gatherings, global meetings, technical conferences, reflection time…and laughter?

Can an enriching work experience be described in the same terms we’d use to describe a romantic relationship? These thoughts came to my mind….

  •  Excited to spend time
  • Freely sacrifice
  • Feel security and respect
  • Give very best
  • Self improve
  • Captivates  thoughts and imagination
  • At peace
  • Needs met
  • Happy and content
  • Freely share thoughts and emotions
  • Care deeply
  • Nurture the relationship

Is a deep emotional attraction to work a good thing anyway…or will this be burning up energy we should be using elsewhere?

About Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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