Create Love, not Fear
written by Allan on March 31, 2008
I was a hell of a kid, not a bad kid, but it seemed I was always doing really dumb things. When I was 10 my Dad told me something that really stuck. He said "You can obey me out of fear or out of love but you're going to obey me". Rarely does 10 year-old boy remember anything let alone something that makes them think. I've always thought about this and observed people in authoritative positions to me.
Love and Fear are two totally different paths, but a successful leader must follow one of these paths.
I played college football and had many coaches through the years. Most of the coaches I had didn't have a path and weren't successful. The coaches that got the best result out of me were the ones I loved. I obeyed the feared ones just enough to not make them mad. But I would have put my head through a brick wall for the ones I loved. The coaches I loved weren't overly nice or even close to easy on us. But they made you feel like you could be better around them. They made you feel, with them, you were a better football player. They gave to you, pushed you, encouraged you to be something more. It's an amazing feeling to feel like someone brings the best out of you. My wife and business partner do this for me; I love them both.
Being in-charge is weird for me. Having employees and having children is uncharted territory so I look for others to show me things. My family owns car washes; the employees aren't used to having an employer care about them. My Dad has had employees quit and come back, some have worked for him since I was a child. He wants his employees to love him and they do. They don't fear losing their job and they yearn to make my Dad happy.
Love isn't created by being easy on a person. It's not from being their buddy. It's not about overpaying them and letting them walk all over you. It's created by being real with them, caring about them, gaining their respect and making them hemorrhage with passion. Like @garyvee says, give (unselfish) love and have it come back 10x in return…this is how love is created.