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You have to love it

Neil Crofts, business maverick and ‘authenticity pioneer’

I feel very honoured to have been asked to give a talk to sixth formers at a local school next week. The talk is to be about business and careers and is one of a series of talks being given by local business people ranging from the CEO of a shipping company to a self-employed physiotherapist.

I went to see the teacher responsible last week. I had a clever structure in mind that would share three lessons I have learned about business and careers. The teacher was infectiously enthusiastic and open to whatever I chose to discuss.

Our discussion opened my mind and I thought more deeply about what I have really learned and what is truly important. My clever structure collapsed from three themed stories to a single thought.

The single most important lesson that I have learned is love. Love is the bit beyond the transactional, the bit where intangibles start, like hope, loyalty and passion. If we want these in our life we have to be open to love.

Whatever we are going to do with our lives for a career, we have to love it. As Steve Jobs said in his memorable Stamford address: “You’ve got to do great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. You’ve got to find what you love and, if you haven’t found it, keep looking.”

Loving what we do isn’t only about doing great work, it is also about how we show it. If we love what we do, we are likely to become good at it. Then we can become confident. When we are confident, our decisions are not influenced by fear, which allows us to make decisions that reflect the greater good. Leaders who love what they do and are confident, inspire success in others.

And if we always do our best, guided by our values, we will be proud of what we do and proud of who we are.

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