Author: Nelson Coulter

I recently read Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby (2020).

In this book Manby frames his experiences as a chief executive officer of several large organizations against the pillars of love as articulated in 1 Corinthians 13 of the Bible.

 My top takeaways:

  • Think first and always of LOVE as a action verb – not as a noun or an emotion.
  • Reframe personal and organizational goals as either BEgoals or DO goals – with the BE goals being preeminent.
  • BEgoals are timeless; DO goals are context dependent and malleable.
  • Protecting the dignity of others should be paramount.
  • Praise lacking specifics is perceived as bogus and hollow, killing our credibility.
  • Making others consistently feel bad does NOT make them better.
  • Customer experience is the direct downstream effect of employee enthusiasm – starting with leadership.
  • Effective and Efficient are goals that can work against one another, or they complement each other in symbiotic conjunction, depending on the culture we choose to shape.
  • The gift of time – the leader’s time – is a powerful incentivizer.
  • Insisting on getting at the truth keeps the best people and creates the best decisions.
  • Forgiving heals both the giver and the recipient.
  • The seven timeless principles of LOVE that can be leveraged in leadership: PATIENCE, KINDNESS, TRUSTING, UNSELFISH, TRUTHFUL, FORGIVING, and DEDICATED.

My favorite quotes:

“Profits are a product of doing the right thing—over and over again.” (p. 31)

“Do or do not. There is no try. —YODA In Star Wars.” (p. 35)

“The truth is this: interrupting is a sign of distrust.” (p. 83)

“Listening well is critical because it demonstrates trust and builds a team’s sense of camaraderie and cohesion.” (p. 84)

“Let others make the decisions for which they are responsible.” (p. 95)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. ” (p. 196)

“And the more we focus on do goals, the greater the risk that we will betray our be goals.” (p. 215)

Manby makes a compelling case that effective leaders – the best leaders – not only can lead from a standpoint of LOVE, they should do so.

This book is a worthy read.

*If you’d like to read more of nc’s blatherings, go to

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