Greetings. It’s Valentine’s Day here in the U.S. and the one date on the calendar when many of us make a special point of thinking about the power of love, caring, passion, romance, and matters of the heart. A day for thoughtful and sappy cards, heart-shaped boxes of candy, flowers, romantic lunches and dinners, and chances to show those we care about that they are at the top of our minds. While the origin of this day has been traced to St. Valentine, who lived in Rome in the 3rd century A.D., many people believe that it was the kind and caring folks at Hallmark Cards, possibly in collaboration with some of the nation's leading confection companies, who really unlocked the full potential of this holiday…noticing perhaps that there were no significant card giving celebrations between Christmas and Easter. Sure there's "Groundhog Day" and "St. Patrick’s Day" but there just aren’t enough card sales in either of these holidays to keep shareholders happy.
But there is a vital business message in Valentine’s Day as you begin this week of work. A message about the importance of passion and heart in the success of our companies and organizations. The passion that we have for a vision and purpose that really matter. And the passion that underlies our values and what we believe in. Values that demonstrate our strong commitment to our customers, employees, and the community and world that we are part of. Values that focus attention on learning, collaborating, growing and innovating tied to a belief in our people and their ability to do remarkable things. Values that strike at the heart of what it means to be a caring and remarkable organization.
So why not spend part of today thinking about the essential role that passion and heart should play in your business. And, about whether you and your colleagues are doing enough to capture the real commitment of your newest and your longest-tenured team members. Because while success is all about winning customers and returning a profit, it's also all about caring, doing work that matters and making a difference.
And if you really want to make this notion come to life, why not take the time to let everyone you work with know that you love them? That you love their ideas, their hard work, their commitment to customers, their desire to innovate and their hope for the future. That you realize how important they are to your success, and that this truth is essential more than simply this one day.