Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. That, if you didn’t already know, is from the 4th verse of the 13th Chapter of First Corinthians, better known around the world as the Love Chapter.

Man Shopping with his Wife - True Love
True leadership, like true love, often means doing things you don’t want to do. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

All of those traits make for good spouses, good parents, and good leaders. But there is more to love, more to life, and more to leading others than those things.

Sometimes, you have to fake it.

Sometimes, you have to fake patience.

With some people, you have to fake kindness.

Some days, when envy is coursing through your veins, you have to pretend that you are happy for someone.

And when you want to boast and display your pride for all to see, you keep quiet.

Love is not easily angered. It always trusts, always hopes.

Sometimes you have to fake calmness. Anger is boiling on the inside, but outwardly you remain stoic.

When you lead and when you love, you must show trust, even when you don’t want to. For that is the only way for others to grow.

And when all hope is truly lost, you have to fake it. You, the leader, must never display hopelessness. Not in the cause. Not in the relationship. Not in the future. All eyes are on you.

Sometimes true love and true leadership means being a fake.

It means outwardly being something that inside you can’t even fathom.

It means being the source of hope for others when you have none yourself.

It means acting in a way that completely contradicts how you feel.

It means betraying your feelings for the good of others.

It means being better than you really are yet.

It means being nice when you don’t want to be.

Because a fake smile is better than a real scowl.

A forced compliment is better than a heartfelt insult.

A stiff ‘thank you’ is better than leaving others feeling unappreciated.

A limp hug is better than being left alone.

A belated birthday card or birthday call is better than none at all.

To some, a call from a wrong number is better than no calls at all.

An open door is better than a closed one.

Learning to smile

I used to generally be a grumpy person (and it still rears its ugly head from time-to-time often. I scowled not because you (meaning anyone near me at that time that worked with me) failed at a project or showed up late. I scowled because you dared to interrupt me while I was thinking. Or because you dared to expect me to show up on time for a meeting. Or…you get the point.

So I learned to fake smiles.

When I least wanted to.

But I did it for the team…and that meant they performed better, which meant more money for me.

But I did it. It worked.

And it changed me. I faked it first, then felt it. Soon I felt happier and I wanted to smile.

True leadership, like true love, often means doing things you don’t want to do. But have you ever noticed that in a relationship, once you did something you dreaded with your loved one, you grew to enjoy it? Yeah, me too. That’s powerful. All because you faked it.

You own your feelings. They do not own you.

So, smile when you don’t feel like smiling.

Trust when you want to keep control.

Hug someone who needs it less than you do.

Open your office door when you want to be left alone.


Love and leadership shows patience.

Love and leadership shows kindness.

Love and leadership celebrates others’ successes even when they don’t want to.

Love and leadership holds back boasts and displays humility.

Love and leadership shows calmness.

Love and leadership shows trust.

Love and leadership always, always, always shares hope.

What do you need to fake today while you work on changing on the inside?

15 thoughts on “True Love and True Leadership Sometimes Means Being a Fake

  1. Sabrina Malone says:

    Absolutely AWESOME post. Thanks for sharing this, Matt! All too often, people (present company included) automatically think of love as a feeling – when it’s more like an action. The love chapter is what we studied in our pre-marital counseling and it’s been a source of help and inspiration over the course of what will be 20 years of marriage. Hope you and yours have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Thanks Sabrina!

      One of my favorite books is Love is a Verb by Gary Chapman (http://amzn.to/1eyHpOY)

      It’s full of stories of people who did not *feel* love but *showed* it.

  2. Kirbie Earley says:

    Every time I come to the office, I have to fake liking a coworker who despises me for reasons unknown. I maintain the ‘bigger person’ position, not because I want to, but because it’s the right thing to do.

    This post was awesome. Made me think a lot of being a parent! You have to do a lot of those things when you are parenting.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That stinks about the office, but I’ve learned that you can grow a lot as a result of people like that. And it sounds like you are!

      1. Kirbie Earley says:

        Yea, our old CEO (more commonly known to me as Dad) kept telling ME to fix it…finally he realized I wasn’t the problem. You can’t fix something if you’re not the one breaking it. I reduced my hours of commitment there and I try to avoid him and his old spice. Tip to men – we don’t like Old spice…throw it out and find something from the 2000’s! 🙂

  3. Paige Gordon II says:

    Excellent post Matt! This a lesson I have been learning a lot about recently with having patience with my pregnant wife even if I don’t Feel like it. It really does work though! Like mom always says, “Act as if, until it is!”

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      How far along is your wife?

      1. Paige Gordon II says:

        32 weeks man!! Our little dude is coming fast and things are getting crazy 🙂

      2. Matt McWilliams says:

        Nice! Exciting times ahead 🙂

      3. Paige Gordon II says:

        yup yup! He’s our first one, and I’m so excited!

  4. Tiffany Olson says:

    Wow! Great and very challenging. My “I have to fake” list is waay to long to post here. Not because life is so terrible but I am an emoter. Happy, sad, glad, mad, frustrated, excited… You name it. It’s all out there. I’m gonna have to process this one a bit. Definitely something I need to work on. Happy Valentines Day, All!❤️

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I like the idea that I cause you to have to process it. Mission accomplished.

  5. Wow! I agree with Tiffany, being fake is very challenging for me. I am a very straight forward, sometimes to “BLUNT” person. But, I will fake it more for the TEAM!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That’s great Katrina! I am like you, very blunt, but sometimes that just doesn’t work.

  6. Joe Lalonde says:

    I don’t think there’s anything I need to fake today. It’s been a pretty nice day so far.

    But I agree with the message. Too often we think we have to actually feel something for us to act the way we know we should.

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