Love & Compassion in Managment

Compassion for humankind – and other ethical reference points for good leadership and management in business and organizations

I pick that excerpt  below from a business web site and I thought to myself: indeed why can’t we talk of compassion in business and management?

“No cord nor cable can so forcibly draw, or hold so fast, as love can do with a twined thread.” (Robert Burton, 1577-1640, English writer and clergyman, from The Anatomy of Melancholy, written 1621-51.)

Love is a strange word to use in the context of business and management, but it shouldn’t be.

Love is a normal concept in fields where compassion is second-nature; for example in healthcare and teaching.

For those who maybe find the concept of ‘love’ too emotive or sentimental, the word ‘spirituality’ is a useful alternative. Spirituality is a perspective in its own right, and it also represents ideas central to love as applied to business and organisations, ie., the quality of human existence, personal values and beliefs, our relationships with others, our connection to the natural world, and beyond.

Some people see love and spirituality as separate things; others see love and spirituality as the same thing. Either view is fine.

In business and organisations ‘love’ and/or ‘spirituality’ mean genuine compassion for humankind, with all that this implies. We are not talking about romance or sex. Nor are we referring to god or religion, because while love and spirituality have to a degree been adopted by various religious organisations and beliefs, here love and spirituality do not imply or require a religious component or affiliation at all. Far from it. Anyone can love other people. And everyone is in their own way spiritual.

Given that love (or spirituality, whatever your preference) particularly encompasses compassion and consideration for other people, it follows that spoiling the world somewhere, or spoiling the world for future generations, is not acceptable and is not a loving thing to do.

Love in business and work means making decisions and conducting oneself in a way that cares for people and the world we live in.

So why is love (or spirituality) such a neglected concept in business?


#1 Pat Sullivan on 10.05.09 at 9:20 pm

Actually, love and spirit are increasingly growing in business in many forms, but too many people presume that spirituality is still a taboo subject at work, or that it’s just not practical to connect spirit and work. Thus, we don’t talk about how easy it is to work with love, and how powerful even a single act can be. Plus, the media rarely report the good news that every faith is filled for practical wisdom at work, and most faith communities never speak about how spirit can impact practical everyday realities.

My husband and I formed the Spirit and Work Resource Center to share information that’s useful to people from all faiths, in all fields, in every practical situation. Come see us if you are in the Berkeley, CA area; check out for some of our free offerings; call us at 510-530-0284 (US) for our best answers or referrals to information and people who deal with these questions everyday. Blessings on your work, Pat McHenry Sullivan, co-founder, Spirit and Work Resource Center

#2 Agni on 10.12.09 at 7:46 pm

I think Respect is a much better value in the realm of Management and Business.

Emotional blackmail has no place in Management.

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