From the Heart: Leading With Love




The announcement of Sen. Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate last week filled me with so much joy and happiness. It is proof that if you just focus on it long enough and with enough faith, love always prevails.

The cynics have been quick to point to the way Sen. Harris confronted Mr. Biden during the presidential nominee debates about his checkered racism and segregation history, as if it is a big scandal. I believe the majority of Americans are tired of scandals and divisive talk. I believe they will recognize their own checkered past during our country's often hurtful history and acknowledge that this is finally the time for lasting change.

I believe they will see this situation for what it is: A man whose character is so strong, whose sense of self and others is so grounded, and whose love of country is so clear, he was able to not only forgive Sen. Harris but recognize and reward her. Someone less secure and spiritually centered would have fired her, or had someone else do it for them.

That’s leading with love.

Vice-President Biden considered many outstanding and deserving candidates. While I’m sure he had lots of input, I have no doubt that the ultimate decision was his.

Biden knows that Sen. Harris ticks off many of the boxes that prepare her to hit the ground running in such a prominent position. He also knew how much respect and admiration his deceased son, Beau, had for her. This election is many things to Joe Biden — but front and center is a devoted father honoring the memory of his son with strength, compassion and integrity.

That’s leading with love.

I think Joe Biden is a better speaker than many give him credit for. I think he especially shines when he is speaking from the heart, which he does often. Does he make “gaffes”? Sure, don’t we all? He also admits when he is wrong, apologizes if he has to, and sets an example that is needed at a time when blaming others and playing the victim has become the way of life in our nation.

That’s leading with love.

When Joe made his final decision, he personally called each of the candidates who was not selected and had a heartfelt, thoughtful discussion (nearly all have already gone on record to say this). A lesser person might have tweeted the news. Joe chose the higher road.

That’s leading with love.

As evidenced by his pick of Ms. Harris, Joe Biden is not afraid to surround himself with people who challenge his views and actions. As he also so clearly and eloquently stated during the New Hampshire primary, he is committed to putting together a team that looks like and represents the rich diversity upon which our great country was built: people of all ages, colors, religious backgrounds and sexual orientations.

That’s leading with love.

During my 30-plus years of working in corporate America in a variety of settings, I reported to lots of people who did not lead with love. They know who they are.

These people taught me what not to do. They led by intimidation and bullying. They publicly shamed and humiliated others. They pitted members of their “team” against each other. They demanded loyalty without earning it. They made decisions based on ego that ultimately eroded morale and hurt business. They created fear and drama. They walked by the “worker bees” without a smile or kind word. They eventually crashed and burned.

Of course this kind of behavior doesn’t just happen in corporate America. I have witnessed some of the most extreme examples in supposedly spiritual and religious organizations including the world of yoga and churches in which I placed my trust.

I have also been fortunate to work with and for lots of people who have led with their heart and not their ego. They inspired me to do the same. This didn’t mean they never had a misstep. It didn’t mean they were soft or ineffective.

They actually ended up with more loyalty and greater “success”; having more people genuinely respect and admire them; and going home to their own loved ones with a smile on their face. It’s the kind of smile I imagine Joe flashes at his schoolteacher wife Jill most days.

That’s leading —and living — with love.

My blessing for all of you is that when you cast your ballot on November 3 — and it is more critical than ever that we exercise our right and privilege — that you do it from your heart and not your ego. No political candidate is going to stand for everything you do and govern exactly the way you want them to — but when they stand for love there’s no way we can fail.

Love,

G.

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©2020 by Garrett A. Foster

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