Quite simply, this paper focuses on exploring the transformative power of leading others with unconditional love. An intentional approach I will demonstrate has been largely overlooked in existing literature.
Admittedly, both love and leadership are terms with many different interpretations and meanings. For the purpose of second-mile leadership though, love is defined as an altruistic, unconditional love that focuses on serving others as a way to bridge our differences and find a unity of purpose, a common hope. It is an unselfish love that is self-giving and not self-seeking. In relation to leadership, a second-mile leader is one
who shows the way by going in advance. In essence, it’s a leader committed to making the growth of those in their care their paramount priority – a person who encourages and empowers others to grow into the fullness of their potential by shaping the conditions for such growth to be pursued, and, ultimately, celebrated.
My assertion in Second-Mile Leadership is simple. Namely, that by intentionally combining the paradoxical elements of love and leadership, leaders can foster a deeper, transformative sense of meaning and significance in the lives entrusted to their care. In turn, this selfless orientation can encourage and inspire the organization to greater perceptions of trust, organizational support, and commitment among employees, positively affecting individual and organizational performance internally and externally.
In effect, it is creating conditions where everyone willfully gives their best not because they have to, but because they choose to.
Second-mile leadership involves the application of various practices that collectively help create an environment for loving leadership to blossom. Second-mile leaders, in striving to shape a context to free those around them to find greater meaning in all they do, demonstrate a genuine concern for the ‘whole’ person. Hence, Second-mile leadership is a holistic approach to leading with love in which the leaders strive to encourage a greater sense of significance and interconnectedness among those in their are so together all can find greater meaning in their lives.