On Thursday, Feb. 18, the University of Connecticut Family Business Program hosted an event titled “Timely Topic: Love is Damn Good Business” where best-selling author, leadership speaker and CEO of the Extreme Leadership Institute, Steve Farber, said that love is the key element to a successful leader and business.
Farber said this love culture can be created by a strong leader, but that does not necessarily have to be the president or CEO of the business itself.
“Leadership fundamentally has nothing to do with position titles. It has everything to do with who we are, what we do, how we live, how we work, and our ability to influence the people around us to change the nature of things for the better,” Farber said.
“”Leadership fundamentally has nothing to do with position titles. It has everything to do with who we are, what we do, how we live, how we work, and our ability to influence the people around us to change the nature of things for the better.”Steve Farber, CEO of the Extreme Leadership Institute
He also noted that not only was love the foundation of great leadership, but also the foundation of great business as well. He went on to share the story of Bryon Stephens, who was able to turn Ponderosa Steakhouse’s worst-performing store at the time into a successful business by creating a culture of love in the workplace.
He would pick up employees who did not have their own means of transportation so they would not be late, he would wash uniforms for those who didn’t have washing machines and he got to know the workers on a more personal level. Farber pointed out that although Bryon didn’t necessarily say “I love you” to all his employees, he created a workplace where they knew he supported them and wanted to succeed.
Farber said by creating this environment, it can start a chain reaction, and not only will the employees feel the positive effects, but the customers will too.
“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do,” Farber said.
“”Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do”Steve Farber, CEO of the Extreme Leadership Institute
He explained further that not only should you start a business because it is what you love, but you should also work harder for the people who support you and what you do.
Farber talked about what he refers to as “Extreme Leadership Methodology.” He defined the four steps, saying the extreme leader cultivates love, generates energy, inspires audacity and provides proof. He said that cultivating love is the foundation, but the energy a leader brings to the group is just as important. A leader does not want to take more energy than they give, and they want to be mindful of the type of energy they are projecting into the workplace. As for inspiring audacity, Farber said it is a “disregard for normal constraints in order to change the world for the better.” The proof can be seen through a positive culture where they employees are excited to come to work and customers are happy with the results and products of the business.
At the end of his presentation, Farber stressed the importance of creating a positive culture from the start. He noted that many companies put all their focus on the success of the product and then try to rebuild a culture that is already there. He said it is much easier to start off building a culture where love is present rather than adding it in.
Farber said, “So please, don’t tell me that love has no place in business. It’s just damn good business and it starts with you.”
Farber’s latest book, “Love is Just Damn Good Business,” published Sept. 2, 2019, dives deeper into the topic of love in business.