"I may not have the capacity to love everyone, but I do have the capacity to act as if I do and run my business accordingly..." -Agnes Golden (character in The Radical Leap Re-Energized)
For once, I really wasn't trying to be difficult or contrarian. Really. But nonetheless, I caught the workshop leader off-guard.
I just recently became certified in Steve Farber's Extreme Leadership Institute. So now I am able to deliver his content to my clients, and it's a very exciting prospect. I've been a huge fan for years. But more on that to come in a near-future blog post. While we were going through the certification process, we were spending a great amount of time talking about the first cornerstone of Farber's tenets: Love (the 'L' in LEAP). The love thing is important. It's in the Extreme Leader's Credo: "Do what you love in the service of those who love what you do." It permeates everything an extreme leader is about.
So when I brought up the topic of hate, it sort of shocked our facilitator. But then I explained myself a little. The extreme leader isn't out to specifically make somebody else hate them. We want to love our work, love our coworkers, love our customers, love our projects. But in the process of cultivating love and acting audaciously as we pursue the OS!M, one can't help but have hate as a natural by-product.
Huh? Love produces hate? Absolutely. A few years ago, I used Kathy Sierra's branding graphic to talk about personal branding as it applied to gender in the work place, but her model applies universally. If we're going to love, and if we're going to seek to be passionately loved by others, then "hate" will be a natural consequence from the people who not only don't "love what you do"; they're dead-set against it. But the key point is: they've noticed you and what you're doing. You registered with them. You got their attention by being an extreme leader.
But here's where some people break-down in their attempts to be extreme leaders; they aren't comfortable being hated. They want to be liked. By everybody. So they don't act audaciously. They don't prove themselves. And they cop out on love for a mild form of "like" that has all the energetic impact of warm milk.
But in listening to the stories shared by other workshop attendees over the two-day period, and especially hearing the inspiring story from Simon Billsberry, formerly of Kineticom, it became evident that an extreme leader can't love passionately WITHOUT allowing hate to be a natural by-product, either expressing hate for the non-leadership behaviors and values, or inspiring hate from others who don't embrace extreme leader values and behaviors.
I've experienced it more than once on a client site. I bring my own unique (ahem) brand of project management to the table, but I do so to get results and jar my clients from their old habits. But in so doing, I've turned off more traditionally-minded champions of the status quo... some of whom I've won over, but some of whom end up passionately hating my approach... and sometimes me personally. And I've learned to be OK with it. Why? Because there are others who love the results and accomplishment I bring to the table. And then I get to do what I love in the service of those who love what I do... in spite of those who hate what I do.
In your quest to be loved, are you comfortable being hated? I hope so.