I could write this rant everyday. Most leaders still would not get it.
Recently, walking out of another good BTL team practice, a participant explained to me his fear of practicing 7 good minutes with one of his teammates. He is kinda closed off, he began, and doesn’t trust people. He asked me how will he really know if they aren’t judging him when he responds to their questions. He said he’s been judged his whole life and since a really young age has been on his own – a lone.
Here’s the truth leader. You have lots of teammates like this on your team too. If you want to get the best from them, you have to demonstrate over and over how much you care about them. You have to listen to them, stay curious, and love them. Yes, love them. When I asked this BTL participant if he knew what love is, he responded simply that he had no idea. He thought there were a few folks that may have tried to love him at some point but he wasn’t sure. I asked if he knew what it felt like.
We talked for awhile about the purpose of BTL team practice being all about love. We want everyone to taste being cared for and feel what it’s like to live in a culture where love is celebrated. He was scared of the vulnerability and you could see it in his eyes. We see this everyday in BTL team practice, if you know what to look for. Your world, leader, is filled with people who know fear, understand anxiety, and haven’t yet tasted love. Let me explain the difference between a BTL leader and a normal one. The difference is Love.
From a lone to all ONE – One L of a difference. The L is love.
Leader, here is your challenge. If you want to lead a team of high performers who will, someday, run through a wall with you, you gotta be the man and somehow remain the hu-man. We stick it to the man and end up sticking with the hu-man. Leader, your challenge is to love your work and love your team. This is not squishy kinda love, this is real love. Love them enough to hear hard truth from them. Love them enough to listen to their ideas. Love them enough to tell them the truth regarding their performance, role, and place within your system. Love them enough to dig beside them when circumstances dictate. Love them enough to make them figure it out on their own too. Love them enough to listen and hear the yearning instead of the whining. Love them enough to care deeply. Love them.
Everyone of us experiences pain and betrayal. Not everyone feels love. The BTL leader understands this truth and by their presence, demonstrates love. Love your work. Love your team. Never stop learning to love more. The BTL leader embodies truth in love. Do you?