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The Secret To Success – Falling In Love

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Imagine what work would be like if you only did the things you loved to do.

There are endless opinions on the secret to success. In fact, whole industries revolve around how to be successful. Some say the secret is in the qualities an individual possesses, some say it’s business acumen or experience. For some it’s a specific method or model. Maybe it’s just luck, or perseverance or intelligence, or being in the right place at the right time. It seems to me, when you boil it down to the basics, it’s really just about falling in love.

Everyone knows the experience of falling in love. As a child, you fell in love with your puppy or turtle or fish. You couldn’t live without your doll, stuffed animal or your action figure. (Mine was NiNi. I think it was actually a donkey.) Many a parent can recall madly searching for a beloved lost item at bedtime so their child can finally go to sleep. As a parent, you fall in love with your child. If you’re fortunate, you fall in love with an activity, occupation, or interest. If you’re really fortunate, you fall in love with a partner or mate.
OK. Sure. But why is the secret to success falling in love? Because falling in love turns you into your best self. When we’re in love, we put our self-interest aside. Instead of being concerned about ourselves, we’re concerned for our beloved. Our commitment is so deep and profound, we’d do anything for our heart’s desire. We’d gladly sacrifice ourselves for the good of our love and not resent it in the slightest.

We make superhuman effort for love – think of the long circulated story of the mother who lifts a car off her child. I once ran a mile uphill carrying my 8 year old (80 lbs) after he seriously face-planted on a downhill scooter ride. (I couldn’t move the next day!) When we’re in love, we constantly notice and brag about how fabulous those we love are – I’m talking about you, grandparents. Love makes us think beyond ourselves to what could be. How many of you started talking kids and marriage after just a few dates? And when we’re in love, we don’t listen to naysayers. Think back to all those times your friends hated your boy/girlfriend. Did you listen? NO. You were in love. When you’re in love, anything is possible.

Now think about falling in love in terms of business. The darling of business success was Steve Jobs. He was clearly in love. In a big way. And Apple is successful because everyone is in love with them. In the early days (and maybe still) Apple had employees whose title was “Evangelist”. What’s an evangelist? Someone who is deeply in love. So Apple’s success is all about love. Steve Jobs really did know the secret.

Coders are the current rockstars of the tech world. They lose sight of everything in their complete engagement in what they are doing. They’ll stay up all night coding, not eat, ignore their family and friends. They’re in love.

Imagine what your business could be like if you structured peoples’ jobs so that they are able to do what they most love. Not just ‘like’ doing it or are ‘willing’ to do it if they’re paid enough? But really truly love doing it. Imagine what the teamwork and collaboration would be like if you hired only employees with whom you could fall in love? I do this in my business, never taking on clients that I don’t think I can fall in love with. Consequently, my success rate in 93%. That’s an amazing rate when we’re talking about change and people. It works because we’re in love.

Want to know how to be a great leader? Fall in love! With your employees, with your business. You’ll do everything needed for success if you’re in love. You’ll be at your best. Who’s the best leader? One who people love. Remember, people will do anything (put up with anything, Steve Jobs) if they are in love.

I was fortunate to be involved with Genentech when Art Levinson was CEO and saw the incredible outpouring of love when he left. He was an amazing leader who built a hugely successful business from scratch. He was in love.

Of course, there are a zillion other things that go into the recipe for success but I think the secret is falling in love.

About the Author

Lori MazanLori Mazan is the founder of Leading From Center, originally started as Seventh Wave coaching in 1996. A seasoned advisor and executive coach herself, Lori also provides high caliber, hand picked and personally supervised affiliate coaches. One of the first 300 certified coaches in the US, Lori has been working for almost two decades with Fortune 100 executives in companies including Chevron, Sprint, and Roche/Genentech, as well as funded growth companies like Coverity, Intellikine, and Tapjoy. Her background includes training thousands of people in leadership skills ranging from deep listening to complex arenas of conflict resolution, motivation, and organizational and political savvy. Blending experience with theory, Lori taught 10 years of college level social psychology and group dynamics courses. Lori lives in Southern California with her son, two cats and a dozen goldfish. She has a 20+ year practice in the art of Tai Chi Chuan.View all posts by Lori Mazan →

  1. Melanie
    Melanie09-20-2012

    I have felt this way for quite a few years now. I fell into teaching more or less by accident, and didn’t expect to like it. I did fall in love with it. Despite the many negatives to teaching, the love, so far, outweighs all those downers. It may not seem “cool” to love a job, but it is necessary to me.

  2. Mary Ann
    Mary Ann09-22-2012

    This is right on. People in love have a spring in their step, optimism about the future, and a sense that together they can face any challenge. They radiate infectious, positive energy. Isn’t this what is needed to drive success in organizations?

    The most effective leaders are great matchmakers–they match roles and responsibilities with what energizes particiular individuals, allowing employees to fall in love with their jobs and bring their very best selves to work.

  3. Lori Mazan
    Lori Mazan10-25-2012

    Great comments. I appreciate your input

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