“There is love enough for everybody in this world, if people will just look.”- Kurt Vonnegut
I sat at the table with John D. We’d just finished delivering a 3 day professional development course for a big and diverse group. In the lounge with a drink in hand, we nearly said the same thing at the same time. Here’s the jist: If we want to get the best from people, our job is to love them.
In that moment we sat there awkwardly, silently acknowledging that we both had put words to a thought, a responsiblity we felt, that was way over the top. But, way way true for us both. But as we let it just hang in the air, this shared sense of the nature of our work, we both felt tickled. Tickled that we could claim such a thing and have it stick. That was 2002-ish.
Today I still hold this as one of the cornerstones of how I work, how I want to work and how I will work.
This kind of love tho, has changed for me. It’s become more stophisticated and nuanced and flexible with the context. It isn’t the kind of mushy heart-squishy love you think of as romantic or soft. It’s empathy, allowing autonomy, active respect, recognizing sovereignty, holding the other as whole. It’s making room for fun. It’s forgiveness. And sometimes it being tough while holding someones heart in your hand.
Tomorrow, September 8th, I start a new job. At Twitter. I’ll be Executive Producer for the Creatiave Team inside Consumer Marketing. And there, I will be practicing “Compassionate Producing”. The form my love of work and my love in work is taking now. Compassion.
And, I’ll be writing. Every (let’s hope) Monday I’ll be writing about work. I’m out of practice, out of key and my words will likely be all over the place. And in the face of that awkward task of re-discovering a voice in writing, I’ll have compassion for myself.
Onward and upward.