What is business?

A good friend and former investigative journalist recently challenged me: If I say we should reject the conventional business-is-war paradigm, what would take its place? 

I am very clear that the new paradigm is love. Business is love. When you are really still, you may know it too. 

Stay with me. I define love as energy that uplifts and connects. As a society, isn't that the purpose of the enterprise we call business? As a leader, isn't that what you want your organization to do? That uplifting and connecting energy translates into more loyal employees, customers that sing your praises, and greater profitability. I call it Amare business, and it's the future for enlightened companies. 

Even if you believe business exists simply to make money, it just makes sense to be as uplifting and connecting as possible. Research shows that while the costs of treating people well and striving for a higher purpose can be higher, the increase in profits far exceeds those costs. Amare love-powered business provides a great ROI, personally and professionally. 

  • Why do you think business exists?
  • How does "uplifting" and "connecting" fit into your notion of business?

5 Amare Steps to Be Still and Know that Business Is Love

  1. Answer the big question we usually ignore. Take five minutes and seriously consider why business exists. Write down your thoughts; no judgment. Share it with me.
  2. Know your paradigm. Be explicit, whether warlike, money-centric, transactional, amare, or something else. Notice how you feel when you acknowledge what is. Now choose to stick with it or change. 
  3. Try on "love-powered" with words. Say out loud: "I am a love-powered leader." Say: "We are a love-powered organization." Notice if it scares you (it will for some, and that's okay!) or excites you. Or both.
  4. Start the conversation. To get the energy flowing, ask your team these two questions: Do we love our customers? Do they love us back? It will be a very powerful conversation. 
  5. Practice being still. Quiet your mind, even for one minute, so that what you deeply know as truth can begin to be recognized. Nothing helps you get clear as much as stillness. 

Give yourself a few minutes to be still, to acknowledge that you know why business exists, why your business is here, and what kind of leader you will choose to be.