Talk About Love in Business, Like Ted Leonsis
A little over 10 years ago, I attended the grand finale meeting of the Netpreneur movement in Washington, DC. Netpreneur was an effort created by businessman turned philanthropist, Mario Morino (one very nice and very smart guy, by the way!) to increase awareness of and provide opportunity for entrepreneurs in the DC-metro region to grow Internet companies. The focus on high tech investments before the mid-1990s was always on Silicon Valley. Netpreneur helped bring DC onto the scene as another hotbed of technology activity.
Ted Leonsis, then Vice Chairman of AOL and owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals professional sports franchises, spoke at this meeting about what made AOL great in the years prior and what it needed to do as it faced significant competition. Leonsis, who is a captivating speaker, started his speech with these words: “I would like to talk to you about love.”
He went onto say that AOL became the giant they were because they loved what they did. Then, they started to lose their way. He felt that if they focused back on love, they would succeed again.
Here was one of the most respected people in business talking about the “soft” subject of love. Yet we rarely hear about this emotion being tied to business. All too often, we focus more on numbers, strategies and so on. While those things are important, so is love. It is what truly drives people to succeed in whatever they choose.
Netpreneur succeeded because Mario felt love and passion for his mission. Facebook succeeded because Mark Zuckerberg felt love for what he was creating. Their energy was electrifying and contagious. Their colleagues could feel it and got motivated.
The happy Walmart greeter, the helpful golf caddy, the smiling cashier – they enjoy helping people and you can feel their love when you are in their presence.
How do people feel when they are around you? Make others feel loved. Put love in what you do and you will see yourself succeed.