#100 – You said, Spread Love?

SpreadLove In Organizations
SpreadLove In Organizations
#100 - You said, Spread Love?

In this special episode, we celebrate a significant milestone for SpreadLove In Organizations podcast. It has been an incredible journey, filled with profound insights, heartfelt stories, and impactful chats.

Over the past two years, we have had the honor of hosting 100 exceptional leaders, each with their unique experiences and perspectives. Through their stories, we have shared-in their triumphs, challenges, and the invaluable lessons they have learned along the way. Our guests have touched our hearts, made us smile, reflect, and most importantly, prompted us to rethink our preconceptions about culture in high-performing organizations.

To celebrate the “100 episode”, we have compiled a special segment featuring the reactions of some of our influential guests to a question that has become synonymous with our podcast: What is your first reaction to ‘spread love in organizations? These diverse and thought-provoking responses represent the culmination of our shared journey, highlighting the power of love in fostering healthier, more caring work environments to deliver on a shared purpose and deliver results to all stakeholders.

On behalf of SpreadLove In Organizations team, we express our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support, genuine feedback, and, above all, the love that has flooded every aspect of this incredible endeavor. Our devoted community has played an integral role in shaping this podcast into what it is today.

Hope you will embark on this special episode, united by the common purpose of cultivating empathy, genuine care, and love within organizations for people to feel safe to thrive, be at their best, and imagine a better world. Thank you for joining us on this extraordinary journey…

In this episode, you’ll hear from John Bamforth, Jeremy Morgan, Gabi Mittas, Lien Le, Amy Edmondson, Jill Donahue, Daena Giardella, Enrique Conterno, Rodrigo Verdi, Otto Scharmer, Christi Shaw, Amer Kaissi, The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Richard Kivel, Myriam Hakim, Bridget Akinc, Maheen Junaid, Lisa Matar, Amre Nouh, Basima Tewfik, Pravin Chaturvedi, Dina Sherif, Dave Noesges, Michael Ullmann, Naji Gehchan.

Learning After a Year in the USA!

One year today in the US! Beyond all the craziness of 2020, I’ve been so fortunate to be part of an amazing team and lead passionate, dedicated, purpose-driven people. 

My three “people” learning:

  • Unite through purpose

With all the cultural differences that we can imagine, the real true diversity that we have, leaders unite through purpose. It is incredible to come in a new country, go out for work and feel like you never left home. The underlying values and beliefs that create the company’s culture, fueled by genuine intent to strive for a noble purpose, then the power I watched here of deeply valuing hard work, made us navigate crazy times together without ever loosing site of our why and how.

  • Spread Love is universal

I hesitated for months coming here if “love” is a world to stand for at work in the US. I quickly realized that it is universal and desperately needed in our world at home and work if there still is any difference in both… It starts by genuine care, curiosity and listening. I learned so much from leaders’ tough stories, discovered what D&I is really about, educated myself on racial justice and I am convinced more than ever that spread love should be leaders’ priority. Spread love to create an inclusive equitable environment, a place where everyone feels safe to thrive, to have true tough discussions, open debates to advance the world and most importantly to imagine and invent the future… As I shared in a previous article, never forget that real love is not kindness.

  • What “community” really means

Many times, we hear about this outside the US, value of hard work in this country, praising success, looking up-to people, and this is really great! What I learned to be even greater is how people intentionally give-back to their communities, their friends, the causes they believe in. I experienced it even personally with tough moments being thousands of miles away from my birth country and watching it online being destroyed recently by a massive explosion. My teams were here not only to support me but also supported Lebanon through donations to the Red Cross. It is just beautiful to see the power of communities and the real sense of caring for one another.

What about my learning from a business standpoint?

Same personal leadership believes in a totally different marketplace. Everything starts with people first, great diverse talents and leaders striving towards our purpose, intentionally radically focusing on 2 to 3 priorities (making choices) and then relentlessly executing on those with excellence to deliver positive impact to the patients and communities we serve; this translates into great results.

Great Job! For Real?

While every single day, I live the fact that nothing works without TRUST, here is my last experience on “feedback” sessions when true trust is missing…

How many times in a corporate world while driving a project, you just felt like stopping it because of internal hurdles. How many times the project was so painful that teams even lost the essence of why it started and were just happy it ended… Moreover, the aftermath usually looks like a simple mail with “great fantastic job all”! Along this, as leaders we usually feel this urgent need “to recognize the group and celebrate” rather than dig into what happened to make it better.

How many times then have we tried, as good leaders, to do a “post-action feedback review”? Usual result: instead of a string of congrats emails, a beautiful meeting room filled with individuals and leaders congratulating each other. Those untrue feedbacks and enrobed thoughts kill teams, make things so slow in organizations and never put people into a trustworthy relationship to improve continuously.

Thinking through this corporate “politeness”, I remembered my lifetime experience in the Lebanese Red Cross. Basis is trust for sure. True trust between people and the leaders who show daily their trust for their teams and their radical empathy. In this safe environment, everything is possible. A simple exercise we used to do back then was an “evaluation”. Every single mission we did would end – whatever time it was – by an evaluation. Always. No one would go out of the ambulance without this true, sometimes tough, evaluation. Let me detail what this was: During an emergency, you just do not have time to say “sorry” or leave someone do a mistake or risk patient’s life; you just do. Therefore, what was key for teams to learn and grow their capabilities was to discuss after each action how things went, where someone went wrong, when someone did great, if someone put others at risk or patient at risk etc… With emotions and adrenaline, some of those evaluations would go into tough discussions, true talks, real words but they would always end in the ambulance with the mission done. When out of the car, we would go back to normal, back to a real team whatever happened and said there; nevertheless individually and as a team grown.

Three learnings from this experience:

– If trust is there, you can talk true because people really believe that the feedbacks given are not personal. The feedback is given on the work performed, how to improve it and make the individuals and team learn continuously.

– Do an after-action review on every single important project because you can always learn from great things and the day it goes bad you can talk true. If you only do an after-action review when things go wrong, people will always try to find out ways to say that in fact it went great…

– The ambulance… Do the review directly within the action and not in a meeting room after a while… Have a “safe place” environment where people can express everything they want, and when out of the session, things stayed in and only learnings went out with them.

Finally, real trust here is important for a simple aspect: people should know that this is not a performance management process and that as a leader you deeply believe they are doing a good job – otherwise you would have treated this separately. The only reason of the “evaluation” is to grow as individuals by learning and as teams by co-working honestly. Only then, you will start to move fast as an organization and make things better for the people and customers you serve.