I’m a quarter Scottish. You never know, in these days of Brexit uncertainty, and political absurdity, that might come in useful. I remember going to visit my grandparents in Aberdeen as a child, and seeing in their hallway the Scott clan crest with the clan motto ‘Amo’ (Latin for ‘I love’). At the time, even before I’d seen Braveheart, I was a bit disappointed that the motto wasn’t something rather more adventurous (though reading about the Scott clan on Wikipedia now, their history is far from peaceful). As I got older though, and as I came to know Jesus personally, the motto of my clan meant (and means) a lot to me.
Years ago I did a training course at work where we were thinking about our purpose, and as I reflected on what this purpose was, ‘I love’ was the thing that popped into my head. I can’t remember what I did next with that thought during the training. However I can see now that I have found that purpose that I was being encouraged to look for, in my role as a manager. A couple of weeks ago I was at another training course, this time about how to give feedback as managers. One of the things that was said was about loving our teams, not in an HR-alarm-raising kind of way, but in the sense of really caring deeply about your team members. I would certainly say that I love my team in that way; the thing that motivates me most about my work is seeing my team develop, seeing them accomplish things, and growing in the process.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with my team for a number of years, and in that time I’ve seen them become parents, I’ve seen them get promoted as they’ve grown and succeeded in their roles. There have been challenging times too, as they have worked on difficult and stressful projects, and had the disappointment of missing out on promotions. I would like to think that I have supported them through those situations, and been a help to them when things have been tough. I can certainly think of many times when my managers have clearly shown (often in very different ways) that they care for me, and the impact that that has had on me. I think that in work environments full of deadlines, stresses, and pressures, ‘I love’ should be the motto of all managers.
Image Credit: Annie Spratt