Conditional Love

Effective leaders love without conditions. (Getty Images/E+/Royalty-free/Mikolette)

Conditions are good for legal contracts, but not for leadership.

Perhaps we've all felt that we've had to earn love from someone in our lives. I remember my mom told me once after I had sung in the All-State choir in high school, "Now, I sure hope you will stop trying to win your dad's love." I didn't get it then. Maybe I do now.

Performance-based love is a dead end. There's never enough of either to satisfy the receiver.

My golden retriever did tricks and I gave her a biscuit. Stimulus-response conditioning works for animals, but it leaves a filmy residue in the brain of a human. In organizational behavior, conditional love is a catalyst to increased turnover.

Effective leaders love without conditions. A true leader performs at her best when the team is underperforming. The leader spreads confidence and faith that together, we will work through this valley.

Love abounds. Communication is heightened. Job security is present.

In the Gospel of John, just prior to washing His disciple's feet, Jesus began to know His hour was near. Notice the end of verse 1 in chapter 13:

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."

This is model leadership. Servant leadership requires self-sacrifice. Jesus was willing to die so that our relationship with the Father could be restored.

The message to every leader, in the home, in church or at work is to "love them to the end."

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.

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