Love and business shouldn’t mix, says the old adage. Should they not?
Since business is about creating and maintaining relationships, and love fuels relationships, mixing love and business could fuel phenomenal success.
This is the premise of Love is Just Damn Good Business: Do What You Love – In the Service of People – Who Love What You Do . This smart and thought-provoking book by the best-selling business author, Steven Farber tackles this touchy-feely subject with hard evidence. The multiple case studies and individual stories show how adding love to your business plan can propel success.
Read this book if you’re ready to approach business and life differently. If you want to make your work — a life mission — and not just a paycheck.
Today, everyone is talking about social entrepreneurship. Farber shows how any company, and every business person, can make their work positively contribute to the betterment of our world and thus fit into the social entrepreneurship model.
Why Should Business People Care About Love (Warren Buffett does)
The author makes a compelling argument for love being the secret ingredient of long-term success in business for all people involved: business owners, employees, customers, and their communities.
He says, “When customers love your business—your product, your services, your people, etc.—that’s when something great happens – the magic of word of mouth advertising. That’s when you see repeat business naturally. That’s when you get customer loyalty. That’s when you create raving fans. That’s when you experience the power of forgiveness. That’s when you get an advantage over your competition.
And that is why leaders should aspire to create an experience that customers love.” The result is employee and customer loyalty, repeat business, low turnover, and high engagement. In other words, damn good business.
American business magnate, Warren Buffett, not only looks at the numbers, but he also looks for the love. In a recent interview, he was asked how he determines whether a company is worth buying. Sure, he talked about analyzing the numbers and doing his due diligence on the management team. But if he is happy with the figures and the management, he still takes one more step.
He sits down with the CEO and looks for the love: “I look into their eyes, and I try to figure out whether they love the money or they love the business,” Buffett says. “Everybody likes money. If they don’t love the business, I can’t put that into them.” If they do love it, he says, he buys the company and it becomes his job “to make sure that I don’t do anything that in effect kills that love of the business.”
If one of the most successful business people in the world uses love as a business metric, perhaps so should you.
How to Add Love to Your Business
This well-written, engaging book breaks down the question of how to add love to your business into three parts: doing what you love, serving people, and finding your raving fans.
Each section concludes with a Love Metric test, which consists of probing questions to ask yourself in order to help you to design your own personal love-business action plan.
Steve Farber is a highly sought-after corporate speaker and consultant. And he is the bestselling author of other business books, including the leadership classic, The Radical Leap. While he is clearly extremely intelligent, he is also a witty and clear communicator.
He describes the Return on Investment of Love as using the age-old, core human principle of reciprocity. This is a way more powerful and longer-lasting than a viral video.
Get a Return on your Investment
Infusing your business with love produces a return on your investment. This return begins with another type of ROI. That stand s for Reciprocity on Investment. Farber claims that when you do what you love in the service of your customers, most of them will love what you do. And they will return that love to you and your business in the form of company loyalty.
He offers proof and clearly explains how to use love in business with many included anecdotes and case studies and provides these complete with data on sales and profit growth.
These stories were my favorite part of the book. The people, from the CEO of a multinational bank to a chocolate maker, were brutally honest and disclosed their failures and successes equally. Here is where you will gain insight into your company through identification.
These tales include inspirational quotes from such business luminaries as Dick Nettell, former Senior Vice President of the Bank of America. Dick has a simple philosophy for leadership: “If you grab people by the heart,” he says, “the head comes along for the ride.” “It’s not only the right thing to do,” Nettell quipped, “it’s smart business.”
Radical Customer Love Pays
Farber tells us to stop the corporate platitudes and fake mission statements about customer service. Those customers are smart and can discern the artifice in them. Instead, Farber says just love the customers up.
When you truly love your customers, they grant you some grace which helps smooth over the inevitable mistakes and mishaps. A thank you letter from one of his workshop participants makes this point humorously.
Hey, Farber,” he wrote. “You know that love stuff you were talking about?
You’re right on, man. I’ve been telling my guys this since the day I became a manager ten years ago. I’ve told my technicians to make the customer absolutely love you. Take you-home-to-dinner love you. Meet-the-wife-and-kids love you. Because if the customer loves you, you can blow up their building and they’ll say, ‘Accidents happen.’”
Read this book if you want a fresh perspective on business and life from a smart and compassionate leader. His philosophy in two words – Givers Gain!
This article, “Love is Just Damn Good Business Doing What you Love, Serving People” was first published on Small Business Trends