14 News & Views Magazine EDITION 1, 2017 Editor’s note: Gary Heil was the keynote speaker at CLFP’s 2017 Food Processing Expo. His remarks were very well received. Heil is an internationally acclaimed expert on leadership, manage- ment and organizational culture. For more information, visit www.garyheil.com WHAT DISTINGUISHES GREAT TEAMS FROM THE REST? For years, we’ve been in search of a way to explain why some teams play at a different level, why they seem to come out on top while consistently attracting better players and employ- ees. After years of interviewing some of the most successful leaders in the world, we came to the realization that any list of“great team characteristics”is incomplete since every team and every organization is unique. There was something that stood out, however. The one characteristic shared by the greats that stood in stark contrast to their less successful counterparts was a fundamentally different relationship with the people they worked with. You can feel it the minute you’re in their presence; the difference is remarkable and unmistakable. There’s a level of caring, compassion and mutual respect that can only be characterized as LOVE. Yes. LOVE. Jan Carlzon, chief executive officer of of SAS, told us decades ago that the first choice every leader has to make is to choose LOVE or FEAR. FEAR – he told us – closes us to what’s possible, reduces learning and stifles creativity. It locks us into what we know already and prevents us from finding a better path into the future. LOVE – he shared – reduces fear and amplifies relationships. It encourages us to be our creative best. He believed that too many leaders and too many organizations perpetuate practices that unintentionally evoke fear. We heard the words when he shared them; but we failed to grasp the concept until we experienced the difference first hand. The more we experienced great teams, the more we realized that caring attitudes are contagious. In these environ- ments, people are willing to express their ideas while listening to others. You feel the engagement before they say a word. Looking back, it feels silly. Why would we doubt that bringing the most basic human emotion into the workplace would not be critical? Aren’t all relationships built on LOVE? There’s no exact recipe for bringing LOVE into an organization. Each successful leader has done it differently yet authentically. But, there are a few things you can do to begin the process. 1. DON’T GO ALONE. CREATE A MOVEMENT Can one person choosing LOVE make a difference? Maybe. But, not unless you recruit others to do the same. If you take the risk to care deeply, you’ll free others to do the Five Ways to Bring Love into the Organizational Setting Gary Heil's work has helped some of the largest and most prominent companies in the world become more innovative and culturally vital.