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.
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?