Valentines day is traditionally reserved to celebrate romantic love between couples. In the air, you hear the sounds of besos, smooches, and cheesy old movie lines or the smell of roses and
chocolates being exchanged.
But love can also be found in many other places, in less flashy colors, but with the same amount of intensity, passion, and connection. Today, I’d like to share with you three stories on how we found love in the workplace.

Love My Bully Boss

One of the cliches that always hits us is that “Love Hurts.” Someone we love, or need to love, also has the capacity to cause us pain. Let’s take Max (not her real name) as an example, C-Suite Executive — firm, stern, formal, and very detached from the team and labelled as a bully by his direct reports. In our focus group discussion, Max admitted that his people didn’t seem to be able to connect with him and they were at a plateau in terms of their productivity. To Max, he was only being strong and straightforward in order to help produce higher results, and help the team achieve breakthrough. “If everyone grows, the company grows, and everyone benefits. But that doesn’t come without any sacrifice, and some scrapes and scratches along the way,” he said.

Clearly, there were elephants in the room, that unless managed, will drive at best, just average performance. Bullying was a behaviour emanating from a mismatch of beliefs. Max believed he needed to push his team hard because they were contented with mediocrity. His team members believed he was not people-driven and would do anything within his power to wield the results he wanted at the expense of his team. This incongruence is shown in the little pockets of resistance at work everyday — gossips, back stabbing, artificial harmony and dispassionate compliance.

Both sides had to expand their mental maps, the boss had to become more flexible and less abrasive with his approach, and the team had to focus on their results and productivity. There was care on both sides for goals that on the outside, look divergent, but needed only harmony and a more resourceful communication. A little tweak can go a long way. Love for the mission is the catalyst that will begin the process of harmonising goals and processes. After a team building seminar, where elephants were discussed openly, both agreed to communicate better and strengthen the trust ties that bond people together.

Loving Culture

In another instance, we were able to handle a team building program for a huge MNC. Now, imagine this huge conglomerate and the vast workforce around it. Teams will naturally operate in silos, never having enough chances to interact with one another. People felt alone and unsupported because they were detached from other people. Our client felt this needed to be managed as there were a lot of resources being wasted.

The cycle of silo culture begins this way. One person feels it, then begins to habituate it, until he feels it is the accepted culture of doing. No one is talking to anyone, and emails are fired here and there, without human interaction. Eventually, this culture spreads to other people, and new silos generate into even more silos. There is a lot of energy wasting or energy “lefting”. Energy Lefting is a phenomenon that makes people become less concerned about other people’s output because “it is not my job anyway”. When a lot of people begin to feel, believe, and practice it, it becomes THE company culture.

This is why team building programs are wonderful, because they bring out the team spirit that’s already innate in every company- the care for people and its processes are there — it’s merely quiet and dormant. Everyone wants it but it is no one’s job to fix the broken parts. Great team building sessions reignite beliefs of unity and accountability towards working for the company’s goals. The program also identifies and addresses issues at the core, and get both the leaders and the members walking towards a common horizon. When people are aligned, they see the bigger meaning of their work, and they start feeling more involved with producing results for other people. This is a step towards empowering a company’s culture; and culture is eight times more powerful than strategy in driving results.

Culture is developed through practicing common beliefs. We must first install empowered beliefs on how the team should see themselves as one unit. Even something small like greeting each everyday with a powerful “Awesome Morning!” can immediately charge up the quality of company culture.

Loving My Work

We’ve been blessed to have worked with a lot of sales people from various major industries. We’ve handled awesome salespeople from the banking industry, insurance industry, the retail industry, and even the technical distribution industry. We’ve been inspired by the kind of hardwork that we’ve seen, and at the same time, we’ve also been privileged to inspire them as well.

Bobby works as a salesman for technical products, and travels all over to close sales. He follows leads like scent being followed by a vicious hound dog. But even so, his numbers were not particularly high. Even though his company saw his massive effort, it didn’t translate to phenomenal results. So we looked into it, and after a few sessions of training with his team, we found an interesting conclusion.

This salesman’s weakness was that he didn’t love his work. What he fell in love with however, was the results of his work. He longed for high commissions, that’s why he always chased the next big sale. He did’t have a system, nor an organized set of contacts, leads, and prospects. He loved money, and fame, but he was still learning to love his work at its most essential form — a service.

We had to work with him on developing love for his work, and for his customers. Loving your work means that you work within the balance of your competency and your challenge zone, meaning, it’s something you’re exactly proficient at, and at the same time it makes you grow everyday. Loving your work means loving the people you do the work with, and the people you do the work for. A person who loves his work, creates impact and lasting impressions.


“I love you, “ is oftentimes a scary word for a lot of people. It entails commitment, and vulnerability. Most people only focus on that. In culture today, so many individuals are focused on self-preservation, and they forget about the rewards of experiencing the fulfilment of being truly in love. As we end Valentines, let us remember how we can show our boss, our team, and our work our love. In each love we pursue, we fire up the world, a little bit more at a time. Love truly makes work go round and round and upon this strong anchor, so many other core values generate into useful forms — trust, integrity, customer service, excellence and care.

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