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A Call to Action

A Call to Action

What it Really Takes to be a Fierce Leader 

By John Spence 

Fierce leaders are committed to making a difference. They are willing to stand up for something important to them. They pursue their purpose with intensity. Unapologetically. Realizing that not everyone will agree with their positions. Some will think them foolish. Others will rally to the cause. 

Here is my stake in the ground: Leadership is Love in Action. 

Fierce leaders are strong enough to be kind. They do not pursue power. Title means nothing to them. They lead by example, not by ego. They are bold enough to love. 

Many businesspeople are afraid of the “L” word. The problem is that they confuse the idea of romantic love with what is known as “moral love.” Moral love in leadership transcends the basic transactional dynamics of a typical workplace. It means recognizing and empathizing with employees, seeing them as complete individuals with unique perspectives, challenges and aspirations, not merely as workers.  

The bedrock of moral love is unwavering ethical integrity. Leaders guided by moral love are committed to fairness, honesty and integrity. Their actions and decisions are anchored in these values, producing a workplace where trust and justice prevail. This ethical backbone ensures that employees feel secure and valued, knowing that their leaders are consistently principled in their conduct. 

Support and compassion are also fundamental elements of moral love. Leaders who practice moral love extend a helping hand not just in professional matters, but also in personal difficulties faced by team members. This ensures that employees feel cared for and understood. This does not mean you have to be everyone’s best friend. It also does not mean you forfeit your responsibility to hold people accountable for delivering excellent work. You can care about people and still uphold high standards for their performance. 

Finally, leaders who embody moral love place a high priority on their employees’ well-being. They understand the importance of a healthy work-life balance and actively work to ensure their team’s mental and physical well-being. This aspect of leadership is about caring for the person beyond the professional role, recognizing that a healthy, happy team member is fundamental to any organization’s success. 

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I have witnessed many leaders who lead with love. It is clear that they genuinely care about their people. These leaders insist that employees go home when they have a sick child. Or buy an especially meaningful birthday present for a team member. Perhaps they show up to cheer on one of their employees running in their first marathon. They do little things that mean a lot.  

To truly embody fierce leadership, one must be daring enough to lead with kindness and gratitude. This approach does not show weakness but rather a profound strength in character and purpose. This leadership style is not about prestige or control, but about living out values in everything you do. As we look at today’s many challenges and complexities, let this be the call to action: Be fierce enough to lead with love.  

John Spence Bio: 

John Spence is a globally recognized business coach, leadership expert, keynote speaker and author. Among other accolades, he has been named by “Thinkers 360” as one of the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Coaching. With a rich history as a CEO, lecturer at prestigious institutions and contributor to strategic partnerships, Spence is known for his engaging and impactful approach, leaving audiences with actionable insights derived from his extensive experience. 

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