Monday 17th December 17:28

"Small Things with Great Love"

Hi everyone,

In the annual calendar, St Valentine's Day, February 14th, is the first day after Christmas that is celebrated on a large scale, though not mainly in the workplace.

Love and work don't always go together but, if you think about it, there is a very strong link between success in work, including management work, and the love that you have for your work. On the courses that we run in Maximising Your Potential, we suggest that, without love for your work, you cannot possibly reach your full potential or do it with joy.

The Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran, went one step further. He suggested that work was "love made visible", adding that if you cannot love your work and work with love, then you shouldn't do it all.

Other people have put it this way: do the work you love and love the work you do.

When you love your work, your predominant attitude changes and so does your affect on others. You become a more accepting person, open and receptive to others, willing to see the best in them, overlooking temporary faults and failings. When you work with love, your whole world changes. You are different and others are different. You take off the limitations on yourself and others. You have no fear of them or yourself. And your Emotional Quotient level goes through the roof.

What's more, there are no barriers to working with love. To work with love, you don't need qualifications or references or entry exams. It's there inside you just waiting for expression. You just have to do it.

One other thing. You can work with love even if you're in the most unloving environment. Think about the stories of soldiers doing dangerous work in war-stricken areas whose love for what they do and love for their colleagues is often life-defining. Nor do you need to be doing anything particularly important or noble. The greatest love can sometimes be found in very humble and mundane work. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, "We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love."

To put love and work into perspective, read the words of Andre Soltner who ran Lutece a French restaurant in Manhattan, which was proclaimed the best restaurant in America for 6 years running by Playboy magazine and featured in episodes of "Mad Men". Soltner's description of his love for his work is a reminder that true love is also uncomplicated and childishly simple.

"I am more than thirty years a chef. I know what I am doing and each day I do my absolute best. I cook from my heart with love. It must be the same with service. The waiter must serve with love. Otherwise, the food is nothing. Many times I will go to the tables to take the orders myself. It starts right then and there. That feeling the customer must have is relaxation. If not, then his evening is ruined. Mine too by the way. How can he work with love if he's not relaxed? People ask me all the time what secrets I have. I tell them there is nothing mysterious about Lutece. I put love in my cooking and love in the serving. That's all."

On this Valentine's Day, and every other day, why not do what Soltner did and put a bit of love into your work?

Eric

(c) ManageTrainLearn 2012