Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'll forever be grateful to whoever steered me in this direction--for I soon found that work was much more fulfilling and fruitful when I cared for those with whom I worked. - David Rogers

Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

Add Value to Your Work Life, March 18, 2002
By David E. Rogers (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Somewhere along the line, I decided I didn't want to be a big shot. I didn't want to bulldoze coworkers and employees. I didn't want to climb the corporate ladder at the expense of others. I didn't want to abuse people the way I'd been ill-treated by certain employers. Human values seemed more important. I wanted to treat my customers, employees, coworkers and bosses with respect and--dare I say it?--love.

I'll forever be grateful to whoever steered me in this direction--for I soon found that work was much more fulfilling and fruitful when I cared for those with whom I worked.

According to Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Kller App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, that makes me a "lovecat." And you can be one too.

That's the thrust of this delightful little book by Sanders, Chief Solutions officer at Yahoo!. Pointing to the great social changes of our time, Sanders sees love as the killer way to add value to our business and personal lives.

Happily for his readers, Sanders sees "business love" in clear, behaviorial terms. No fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good exhortations here. Sanders gets right down to business: Bizlove, he says, is "the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles with your bizpartners."

And what are those intangibles? I'm glad you asked, my friend:

Our KNOWLEDGE, everything we've learned and everything we continue to learn. Sanders says we learn most from books--and he advocates reading as many as possible. (Amazon must love him!) But it's not just reading. We're encouraged to mark up our books in ways that help us grab their "Big Thoughts" so we can add value to our work and that of others. To Sanders, information is meant to be shared with as many people as possible.

Our NETWORK, our incredible web of relationships, biz and personal. It's not just what we know that adds value to our lives and the lives of others, it's who we know. And, like information, relationships bring value to everyone when they are shared. Sanders boldly advocates being something like a flesh-and-blood "home page" with links to all kinds of value-adding relationships.

Our COMPASSION, the ability to reach out to others with warmth and regard--to go beyond the safety of biz-as-usual interactions.

By sharing these three things with our bizpartners, says Sanders we not only add value to the lives of others but to our own.

What's best about Love is the Killer App? First, it's Sanders' unabashed enthusiasm and energy. His excitement at learning how love can transform biz life is infectious and genuine. The text bubbles with his desire for us to experience its power for ourselves. I found it endearing and sincere when taken in small doses. This is not a book to rush through! It's exercise more for the heart than the head.

Second, Sanders is eminently practical throughout the book. He doesn't leave us with "teddy bear" admonitions to love. Nope--his focus is on application. Here's HOW you share your knowledge, here's HOW you build and share your network, here's HOW you show compassion to others. You'll find yourself nodding in agreement every time--"Yep, I can do that." Or something like that, for Sanders readily admits that, say, the way he "cliffs-and-tags" books may not work for everyone.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit that I was primed for this book because of my own experience and perspective. And Sanders and I have conversed by e-mail a few times. (The guy practices what he preaches!) So this may not be the most objective review you'll find!

If you're interested in more on the subject of love in the bizworld, I can suggest these outstanding books, all available here at Amazon: Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness by Robert Greenleaf (a classic), Leadership Is an Art, movingly written by the legendary Max Depree of Herman Miller and Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership by James Autry.

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