Leadership is dancing between Power and Love

Leadership is dancing between power and love

12 may 2020 – by Ingrid van Zutphen, Managing Consultant Development

Jitske Kramer, corporate anthropologist and author of management bestseller ‘The Corporate Tribe’, states that Power and Love are the two essential forces for leaders. The leader needs to be able to use Power and Love in any situation, but especially in periods of fear and uncertainty.

But how do you do that? How do you use Power and Love as a leader?

Power is goal-oriented and focusses on targets, action and results. Love is relation-oriented and focusses on people, connection and trust.

As a leader, you use your Power to set ambitious goals, take bold decisions and realise results. And you use your Love to connect, gain trust and create a support base. The leader who uses Power without Love, will lose his team. The leader who uses Love without Power, will lose his direction.

Leaders with the ‘X-factor’ know how to combine the apparent contradictions  between Power and Love

The successful leader dances between Power and Love, between goals and people, between action and connection. One moment you lead your partner in a fiery tango: you challenge, set goals and take decisions. The next moment you lead your partner to a quiet place: you slow down, listen and connect. In this dance you continuously search for both Power ánd Love. You use your Power for the full 100%. And you use your Love for the full 100%. Uncertain times ask for Power: decisions, action, speed. And uncertain periods ask for Love: attention, connection, recovery. One cannot survive without the other.

A great example of a leader who masters the dance between Power and Love, is Jacinda Ardern, the prime-minister of New Zealand. During the Corona crises, she has used her Power to impose one of the severest lock downs on New Zealand. And she uses her Love to connect with the people. She connects daily with the people of New Zealand using different media channels. She answers questions, recognizes people’s emotions and doesn’t hesitate to discuss her own questions, doubts and feelings.
How you dance between Power and Love, depends on your personality, your situation and your dance partners. As the leader, you tune in to the rhythm of the music, the situation and the people. And then you choose the right moment to start a fiery tango. And you choose the right moment to slow down and connect. Over and over again.

How do you dance between Power and Love?