Lead With Love Part Three

What does love have to do with leadership? Everything!

There is a lot of focus on love this month, having just celebrated Valentine’s Day. Leadership, however, is not about romantic love. It is an agape love rich in caring and compassion, inspiration and motivation, coaching and mentoring, encouragement and discipline. This is the third of four installments of a month-long series of Tuesday Tidbits offering food for thought in each of those four areas of real leadership, rooted in love.

Coaching and Mentoring

When we lead with love, we coach and mentor our team members. The goal of both coaching and mentoring is to move the individual toward optimum participation in achieving the organization’s goals. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference.

Coaching is generally short term and related to specific task performance. A coaching goal might be to enhance an existing skill or to develop a new one. Leaders might coach team members on how to improve work quality, how to be more efficient and productive, or how to use a new system. We might coach on attitudes or behaviors that are sabotaging the team’s overall work. Coaching sometimes includes supplemental direct or indirect skills training to help move the individual forward. A formalized coaching plan (a very useful tool for leaders) includes a series of measurements, targets and checkpoints for improvement toward a specific performance goal.

Mentoring is a long term relationship more closely aligned with personal development. Mentor – mentee conversations tend to be more philosophical, whole-life oriented, big picture explorations. A mentor shares personal observations and anecdotes on a variety of topics to help the individual grow personally and professionally. The best mentor for an individual is someone who is not directly responsible for their work performance and can maintain a distinctly separate and integrious relationship. Individuals may seek out a mentor to strategically guide them in a particular interest or career path. Organizations also benefit from mentoring programs as part of succession planning, inclusion initiatives and overall leadership development.

Good coaching is very much an act of love, as we seek to draw the very best out of our people toward organizational goals.The mentoring bond is a loving investment in the development of another human being. Leading with love requires both good coaching and dedicated mentoring.

This week, be fully present to your relationships; who are you coaching and who are you mentoring? How is your approach working? Are the needs of both parties being met?

Next week…Leading With Encouragement and Discipline.


The Tuesday Tidbit is the emerging leader’s weekly source for team building tips, leadership development content, creative ideas and general workplace inspiration. To discuss individual coaching or a group workshop at your office, contact me here and let’s chat!