Love, Accountability and Leadership

"If you messed up, wouldn't you want someone to tell you?"

I remember thinking that question when talking with a friend one time about the performance of a co-worker.  The co-worker seldom did this one particular task properly. In fact, it had been performed in error so much that my friend thought their co-worker was incapable of doing it right.  So my friend went on correcting the error and reliving the frustration.

Only an act of love will make this situation right.

That's right.  I said love.  Love is an unconditional concern and action for another.  On Valentine's day we generally mistake real love for the gooey emotion, anticipation and excitement that we feel for a mate.

But love is a verb.  Love is what happens when we put someone else ahead of ourselves.  The anticipation and excitement of love is anticipating the best for another; not for myself.  Love seeks the best for another.

So if my excitement and amorous affection for my wife is simply wrapped up in how she makes me feel, that's not love.  Love is what she does that makes me feel that way.  Love is given first.  It becomes real when we put the best interests of someone else above our own.

My friend wasn't doing what was best for that other person.  It's never in the best interest of another to let them underperform.  It's never best to "carry" them when they can develop the strength and skill to carry themselves.  It's never best to "just do it myself" for the long haul.

But we all do it.  We all take the easy way from time to time and do something ourself rather than taking the time to hold others accountable.  Accountability is a pain.  We have to find out why they didn't follow the procedure and we have to then go through it again with them.  Then we have to follow up and watch them do it again.  What a drag.  It's so easy to just do it ourselves.

I'm guilty of doing it myself out of laziness almost every day.  Today though, I'm not going to go along with the lazy and selfish me.  Today, I'm going to spend some time and hold others accountable out of love.  It's never in someone's best interest to deliver less than expected.  It's never in someone's best interest to withhold feedback that would bring peace and improvement.  Laziness and selfishness are never best.  Never.

So if I call you soon, it may be for a conversation just like this one.  Maybe you need to call me.  Then do it.  Call whoever you need.  Seek the peace and the joy that comes from relationship balance and accountability.  Seek the flow that comes when two people understand each other and work in harmony to achieve goals they could never do on their own.  And if someone calls you, take it like an adult and seek to understand.  Remember they're helping you get better because they love you.  It's much easier to just leave you alone!

For Valentine's Day, what can you do that you've been avoiding out of selfishness.  Do something about it today.

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