What Valentine’s Day Can Teach Us About Leadership

Let me be up-front. I’m not a very romantic guy. You can ask my wife… She’ll tell you that I’m not. I’m okay with that.

When I asked, okay, told her, we were getting married it was while we were sitting on a couch talking. I randomly brought up the notion of marriage. When she said she supposed we were going to get married one day, I told her to pick a date of arbitrary dates in December. That’s how our unofficial proposal went.

What can Valentine's Day teach us about leadership?

Image by Joe Cavazos

I think I made it up to her when I took her to a local horse ranch for a sleigh ride. The coachman of the sleigh ride got off of the sleigh, asked if we’d like to have our picture taken (I’d of course forgotten to bring a camera!), and said he’d go check up ahead for any issues with the trail. As he walks away, my wife begins to worry the frail, old man would have trouble and fall into a hole.

That’s when I made my move. I slipped down on one knee and officially asked her for her hand in marriage. She said yes and it’s been a crazy 13 years since we said: “I do.” So, maybe I do have a few romantic bones in my body. Not many, but some.

And as we approach the most romantic holiday of the year, I think of the leadership lessons you can find in Valentine’s Day.

Leadership Lessons From Valentine’s Day

1. Have passion and desire:

What comes with the thought of love? Passion and desire. While Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic version of these two emotions, I believe passion and desire can translate to your role as a leader.

Great leaders have passion. Passion for the work they do. They love coming into the office and leading a team to success. Great leaders also have great desire. They desire to lead a successful organization.

Become passionate about leading your team and creating a successful organization.

2. Treat people well:

Sadly, some people are treated the best on a single day of the year. That day is Valentine’s Day.

They are brought flowers or chocolates. They’re wined and dined. And then the rest of the year it’s almost like they’re forgotten about.

That’s not what love is. Love is treating people well throughout the year. Valentine’s Day just reminds you to treat your significant other well.

So, let’s translate this to leadership. The leadership lesson from Valentine’s Day here is to treat other people well.

Be kind. Be generous. And be caring.

These are traits of leaders who treat people well. They know by treating people well, they will inspire them to new heights.

Find ways to treat your people well and with respect. You won’t go wrong with that.

3. Show your appreciation:

The last leadership lesson from Valentine’s Day I want to touch on is to show your appreciation for those you lead.

Your team members come in and work their heinies off. They put in 40-hour workweeks that are probably longer than that. And they make you look good.

The least you could do is to show your team how much you appreciate them.

Write notes of thanks letting them know you see what they’re doing. Take them out to lunch. Shake their hand or pat them on the back.

Showing appreciation goes a long way in creating loyal team members.

Question: Have you found any leadership lessons from Valentine’s Day? Share the lessons you’ve found in the comment section below.

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