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The Forbidden Word at Work

I've worked in some traditional and untraditional settings. Some people would be surprised at the words that are considered acceptable at work. Words that I would never use in front of my kids can get thrown around with ease in the office.

However, there is one word that seems to be totally unacceptable at work. I've never seen a rule against it, but it is made clear from the beginning that it is forbidden by its lack of use.


Specifically, as a manager, I think you should love the individuals on your team.

Lots of people will say this isn't a good idea because you have to make hard calls and you don't want to get to close to your team. Others believe that you should keep your professionalism about you and professionalism does not mean love.

I'm not talking about a creepy or inappropriate love. I'm talking about the love you feel for another human being where you know them as people, have a connection with them, and want them to succeed in life.

I'll be honest, I have loved every individual on my team. I always wanted them to succeed and I always was willing to do whatever I could to help them. They may not have always felt loved (which is my fault, not theirs). They may not have realized or appreciated my love. There have also been times where they have annoyed or angered me. But much like a family member, that doesn't mean I still didn't love them.

In fact, the only regrets in my career are related around times I didn't treat my employees like I loved them. I tried to distance myself or be something I wasn't. I thought "this is what a professional does" instead of "this is what someone who loves and cares for someone as an individual would do". It doesn't mean I wouldn't do the hard thing in each case, but I would do it the right way.

Feel free to argue with me and present dissenting viewpoints, but I think loving the individuals on your team is the only way to be a great manager.

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