A Four Letter Word You Won’t Hear Much Around the Office

December 14, 2014

What four letter word will you almost never hear used around the office?

No, not that one.

Huh-uh. Nope.

Not that one either.

The least likely four letter word you will hear used in corporate settings is: wait for it— the word love.  Hmm.

Whenever it is bandied about, it’s most likely in contexts such as ‘I love Fridays or I love jeans day’, or ‘where’d you get those shoes, I love them,’ or the under the breath ‘I love yous’ of office romance in full swing.

Surprising really, when we realize that love and its opposite— fear, are the two most basic of our human emotions that drive us day in and day out. And it’s not like we leave our emotions in the parking lot with our cars when we enter the doors of our office building. They’re with us and we’re acting on them in almost every situation and encounter, even in our unawareness.

Leadership is a role which, if done well, is most certainly designed to operate out of love. And before you conclude that I’ve gone soft or think I no longer believe in having an edge in business, I’ve prepared a home-schooled diagram to help make my point.

For purposes of considering this concept when reviewing the diagram, please consider love in its very broadest sense—that which supports a greater good and brings forth the goodness in our nature— our true, best, highest self. And let’s consider that fear is at the other end of love’s continuum—fear as the absence of love, representing varying degrees of absence of our goodness, our true, best, highest self.  It doesn’t take much to recognize that the love column equals the fullness and richness of work life, and fear limits, reduces, takes away from and can even destroy what is good at work.

Which of our actions, reactions, stances, positioning and other behaviours are attached to one of these primary emotions? Here’s a partial list; I’m sure you can think of more.
Fear lovez

If you’re looking for a simple, fool-proof method for enriching your work life, feeling better and doing better at work, simply start shifting something in the fear column to something in the love column. Want to feel even better? Keep shifting. The more actions and reactions you can demonstrate in the love column, the more fulfilling each day becomes. Remedy for a really bad day? Do something unexpected or extravagant in the love column. Try it—I’d love to hear what changes for you.

Many would argue that our emotional life has no business in business. But I would heartily challenge that argument. It’s part of who we are and what’s behind all of our behavior. Understanding which basic emotion is governing our actions can be an impetus for change.


We don’t have to use the word love (although, why not?) to express love in a work setting. But acting out of love vs fear works best for everyone, all the time.


Happy Monday!

Warmest regards,


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