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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Resilient Leadership : What's Love got to Do With It?

Here's an interesting confluence: Valentine's Day was Sunday.  Monday was President's Day. This fascinating juxtaposition offers the secret to how great leaders sustain performance, keep talent, and thrive in the face of challenge: love.

George Washington could never have kept starving troops in freezing Valley Forge if the men didn't care for him, the cause, and visa versa. Abraham Lincoln, probably the most admired of all U.S. presidents, based his entire career on the love of freedom and equality. His second inaugural address holds love as its essence:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Had he lived, this vision of an internal peace would have brought many war-weary people to his side.

A resilient leader loves in this manner:

  • The work and the purpose for the work

  • The people and their best communal interest

  • The possibility to join hands and move forward together.

How ironic that today, too many politicians seek to divide, throwing out words that are mean, vicious, cruel, and not intended to bind up wounds but rather create new ones and open old.

Sustainability as a leader, as a nation, does need love. I wonder where it has gone. *Image by Alexander Gardner -, Public Domain,

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