Love and Leadership

What You Need To Know About Love and Leadership, With Lance Secretan – PS050

Episode Overview

In this episode with Dr. Lance Secretan, we explore the topic of Love – in a very personal sense – and also what love has got to do with leadership.  Lance is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative leadership teachers of the time, yet Lance's latest book – his 16th book –  is not a leadership book per se.  It’s a love story.  In fact, the title of the book is: “A love Story – an intensely personal memoir.”  When you explore the concepts about love in this book, you realize love impacts every part of our lives at home and at work.  With love in our lives, our leadership moves to a higher level and inspires others to follow.

Episode Introduction

lance Secretan On Love And LeadershipIf you are in the leadership space, in human development, in human resources, in talent management, or skiing, you will know the name Lance Secretan from his professional accomplishments and writings.  He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company.  He’s a university professor, an award-winning columnist, and he’s written 15 books on the topics of inspiration and leadership. He coaches and advises leaders globally, and he guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries.

A Love Story

When I asked Lance what it was like to write this book after Trish, his wife of 30 years passed away, he replied that throughout their glorious life together he wrote poems to Trish.  After her passing, he wanted to do something with the poems, so he wrote a narrative around them.  It became his memoir to his beautiful wife.  He called her “Beautiful” and you will be touched as you listen to Lance read the poem, “It must be you,” in which he equates the beauty of his experience with his wife to all the beauty that surrounds him. Where ever he sees beauty, he see her – “it must be you” is his refrain.

Lance is drawn to poetry for its mystery and  innuendo. Meaning is expressed and felt in very few words.

Love and Leadership

Love and Leadership


There are a number of themes that reveal themselves across a range of contexts from personal life as in marriage to professional life as in corporations.  These themes that spill over effect the relationship we have with ourselves, others and the world at large. Themes such as:


Love, connection, beauty, spirit, honesty, vulnerability, inspiration, emotions.   These topics don’t get talked about too much among leaders  in corporations, and if they did, Lance believes, we’d be far better off.

Tough Leaders in their Armor Repel Followers

Lance references the paradigm of leaders who wear suits of armor, who don’t make mistakes, and who imagine strength being the tough guy who shows no weakness or vulnerability.  Yet,  in shunning their vulnerability, they paradoxically repel their followers.   Strength comes in lots of ways.  It takes a strong man to be gentle.

Intimacy, vulnerability and caring are as important in leadership as they are in a marriage.  Lance talks about the magnetic appeal of vulnerability and transparency.  Consider how we respond to the innocence and vulnerability of babies, puppies and kittens.  Our hearts soften.

Building Deep, Abiding Relationships

In “A Love Story,”  Lance shares the attributes and practices that he and Trish agreed made their relationship so special.  (I counted 22 attributes).   Among them Lance highlights:

  • No secrets.  It is truly liberating to have everything transparent.
  • Being one together – united – while still valuing each other’s individuality.
  • Total truth prevails at all times.  (Betrayal is hard to climb out of and gets harder each time).
  • Touch, fun and playfulness.
  • Rituals
  • Thoughtfulness about how you show you care;  what inspires people; what it takes to build, deepen and sustain relationships.
  • Disagreements or arguments need to have a shelf life of less than one day.
  • End each day with a state of grace.

“Honor every person as if it’s the last time you’ll see them.”

Happily Ever After

“Once upon a time” … is the opening line of this beautiful book.  The “happily ever after” is in the making for Lance.  The joy and the gift of  “happily ever after” is to share the learning that comes from 30 wonderful years of marriage – a relationship with love itself.  At this time, he sees it manifesting in two ways:

  1. To bring the parallels to the corporate world – even though that was not his intention when he wrote the book
  2. To help his coaching clients build the loving relationships they yearn for, as a loving relationship at home permeates the relationships in the workplace with customers and employees.

The relationship between customer and company and employee and a company is a marriage.

The joys of a beautiful, loving relationship is what we take to work everyday, it informs how  inspire other people.

When you are surrounded by love, you give love.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Books Mentioned in this Episode


[amazonjs asin=”B018MZDYAW” locale=”US” title=”A Love Story: An Intensely Personal Memoir”]

[amazonjs asin=”B004AM5NZ6″ locale=”US” title=”The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch: Inspire Self. Inspire Others. Inspire the World”]

[amazonjs asin=”097331155X” locale=”US” title=”One: The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership”]


Lance’s Articles/Papers

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