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Connecting the dots between love and work

Dear Profit Prophet,

In a recent column, you spoke of motivating people. There is a lot I need to accomplish through my team. Can you say more about how I can do that?

Dear Leader,

Let me begin by asking you a question to ponder.

Do you remember falling in love? What was it about that experience that made the future look so bright and air-brushed? 

I suggest that in this state people feel special and excited for what is to come. The experience leaves you with great aliveness. Things that would bother you roll off your back. You are happy and enthusiastic. As with the promise of a good pore minimizer, the future looks smooth!

Come to think of it, many begin their jobs and careers in a similar fashion — excited to meet the team and dazzle the customers, dedicated to doing their best and seeing the future as unbounded. A good initiation will leave people felt supported, chosen and drunk with opportunity.

What I believe to be similar about great work cultures and the falling in love experience is the anticipation of being fulfilled. This experience of “falling in love” goes far beyond a biological mechanism for survival of the species. Indeed, its essence can be kept alive. That essence is creating an environment of ongoing enthusiasm and the attention you give your people allowing them to be heard, honored and respected.

Regarding motivation, it’s the way we make people feel good that counts. Love, like great work environments, does not require a rocket scientist, but people will think you hung the moon.

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