Oonagh Harpur had a very warm presence when I saw her go on stage during her TED talk. She has the comforting energy of a mother and assertive energy as a leader.
It was nice that she started her talk by introducing how she she as a young CEO was a results-based number queen. It was nice that she shared how her clients go to her because of their values and how she treats them and people. She admitted they were not the smartest firm but had good values and provided great results for their clients’ businesses.
When she shared this, I was inspired to continuously provide the best products and customer service we have right now, because I noticed that our quality products and quality service generate repeat customers. It is our value as a company. I don’t have personal interactions with most of our customers, but our system shows we have several repeat orders. My only reference to their degree of satisfaction is the good reviews they leave on our pages.
This helped me conclude that leading a business with good values such as providing quality products and service enables the company to generate more revenue by repeat satisfied customers, and referrals will be an additional outcome.
Hence, a leader assures quality control over his/her business. Everything has to be top notched as it will leave a deep impression on customers. This is one of the great values in business.
She also shared how the concept of “love in business” is rarely discussed as it is unusual to use the word in business. However, she has observed that business leaders who love and care for their clients have better outcomes than those who are just into the numbers and making money.
She has gathered data that those businesses who showed love in their work and love for their clients could sustain better in their business relationships and generate more profits. It had a special impact on the business transaction as the specific needs and wants of the clients were met, and perhaps there was a deeper understanding of what the market wanted. It helps the business determine their market’s preference, behavior and taste, which can provide excellent data in coming up with the best product or service for their customer.
Lastly, she shared loving people during the good times. Loving in terms of trusting people was a magic potion in doing business with people. When a leader shows trust in their people, they do way better in their jobs, resulting in doubling their profit. This is a contrast to bosses who place too many rules that, over time, limit creativity and flexibility on how to come up with better solutions and results. That is why putting love and trust in people in business does work better in achieving results and aiming for business goals.
For me, I honestly did not realize the word ‘love’ could be used in business as I got used to as well that business is business, and rules must be followed. I just knew, though, that I have to be a good leader. I know how to listen to my people, and I have to trust them.
After listening to this talk, I realized I love my people and business. I am actually already loving my team as a leader. I am grateful for this realization. It makes me comfortable with the concept of love and integrity in business.
I am always grateful for the chance to learn something new or realize something new; my CEO Series class and this talk have done that for me. I look forward to more learnings and realizations and how these can help me be a better leader.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.