U S Military AcademyChris Peterson, Ph.D. reports that the character strength that distinguishes the best leaders at West Point is the capacity to love and be loved.

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Jane Dutton’s work shows that “high quality connections,” which she acknowledges can be understood as love, are the difference between low performing and high performing workplaces.

Dave Shearon

Soon after I began my work doing one-to-one executive coaching with CEOs I noticed a particular sensation that was present after most of my meetings with clients. I experienced a distinct flavor of elation that, upon short reflection, I was startled to identify as love. I felt love for these business people as pure and clear as I have ever experienced with my family or friends.

After many more coaching meetings with my clients, I concluded that love is the fundamental requirement of effective coaching. Even more surprising was the discovery that this love emerged entirely from my choice and not from circumstances or chemistry or chance.  To generate unconditional love is a tremendous power and gift that every person has.

The fast track to love was detailed by psychologist Arthur Aron and discussed in a popular New York Times article, To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. The basic components are prolonged eye contact and sincere sharing of one’s thoughts. Read the step-by-step instructions in the companion article here. Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised by the central role of vulnerability and acceptance in this process; I wrote a book about it.

A basic ontological feature of our human condition that is no longer a mere assumption, that is, we have only the world that we bring forth with others, and only love helps us bring it forth.


The Tree Of Knowledge:
The Biological Roots Of
Human Understanding

–Humberto R. Maturana, Ph.D. &
Francisco J. Varela, Ph.D.



…in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.
–Lennon & McCartney


See also this post on executive coaching with love.