One of the things lead with love means is showing up for the people you care about. When leading a business, nothing is more important than loving your team. One way we show love at Colibri Digital Marketing is through our weekly team meeting. It’s our charm’s — a charm as you may or may not know is a group of hummingbirds, kinda like a flock of birds but in this case a group of experienced, talented, and warm-hearted digital marketers — way of connecting with our entire team and spending some time together, working and playing. As CEO of Colibri Digital Marketing, it’s a highlight of my week. I get to learn, grow, get to know new people, and work on making our business better all at the same time.
Not too long ago, our Creative Director, Graciela Sosa, asked the team to share what lead with love means to each of us. The idea was to create a TikTok about one of our brand’s most important values. I was all in, and as the conversation unfolded, I was moved.
Our team believes in all the juicy stuff: mindfulness, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, cultivating love for the self, being willing to ask yourself the hard questions and get better, expressing love through everyday actions, and accepting life on life’s terms.
Read the transcript, below, to learn even more about what we colibris mean when we say “lead with love.” And thank you for reading our B Corp marketing blog. We appreciate your time and attention.
Lead with love transcript
What does Lead with Love mean to you?
Anna Colibri, CEO, Colibri Digital Marketing
Leading with love starts within us before it happens anywhere else. The Buddha said that you should love everyone but the first person you need to love is yourself. To me, it kind of happens on that level of you look at your own life and you look at yourself and make sure that you’re aligned with your values. That’s how you can lead yourself with love, then it’s about who you’re in community with. We’re a little community of Colibris here. It’s how we treat each other and then leading with love is also how we phase out into the world. The impact that we want to have. I always think it’s like the triple bottom line and happens on three levels. More specifically, how I think we should all lead with love is honesty, transparency, courtesy. Putting people first. But also the planet since that’s our sustainer. It also gets bigger, like about politics.
My favorite ad on the Super Bowl, which I watched from start to finish this year for the first time in my entire life, was from Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know if anybody here is a Trump voter or a Trump supporter, that will be a little awkward for me on the one hand. But on the other hand, it’s probably unlikely. But we do need to accept different points of view, and that’s part of leading with love. Generally speaking, what Trump did for me was he made me realize that I couldn’t be a cynical person anymore and look down on politics or look down on being an American and being patriotic.
The ad that I watched at the Super Bowl with Bruce Springsteen had the hashtag reunited. Going forward into 2021 and beyond, I think political engagement is important, which is aimed at preserving our democracy, which I think is good for a Trump supporter or anyone else. This idea of going through something really hard has been divisive and scary, and so I think it’s more important now more than ever to look at other people’s points of view and see what we’re together on.
Now I am a patriotic, flag-waving American who watches the Super Bowl. That happened because I think it’s important to nationally express ourselves as a country and see beautiful athletes and we can have our friends explain to us what the hell’s going on. That is what I had to do. Bruce Springsteen kind of moved me because he is saying this is our country. It’s something new to me to say, look, I’m a proud American because I kind of thought, oh, that sounds regressive or something like that. I think it’s really important now. And so that is my big thank you to Trump because before that, it was easy for me to be cynical and take democracy for granted. That was a lot of talking about lead with love. But I do think it’s really important. How about you Rose? What do you think about Lead with Love?
Rose Carges, Content Marketing Manager, Colibri Digital Marketing
Well, I think leading with love is really important and at this job, from you, Anna, specifically, but really from everyone on the team, I’ve learned a lot about empathy and trying to view things from the other person’s perspective. If we’re having an issue with a client, there’s probably a reason they’re having a hard time and a reason we’re having a hard time. In every way, I learned to put myself in the other person’s shoes and see what challenges they are facing, what they are going through, what their fears are. And then it’s a lot easier for me to actually come up with a better solution and work better. I think a big part of lead with love for me is being empathetic and understanding.
Beautiful, great. That is how it is. People can freak out, but we never know what their considerations are. How about you, Sergio?
Sergio Esteve Leal, Colibri University Intern
For me, when I hear lead with love, I think about a state of mind, a personality, just taking everything for what it is, and not thinking any negative repercussions about it, and going with the flow. Basically, having the mindset of everything happens for a reason. If something was meant to be, it’s going to be. And you can only put out good energy. I believe in karma, and so when you lead with love, you’re going to receive back love.
That totally reminds me of a quote from the Tao Te Ching that I was reading yesterday. We have a “little library” and we haven’t really been able to promote it a lot because of the social distancing. But you probably have seen those little libraries around. I really like it because I probably have an alternate career as a librarian. So finally somebody took like a whole bunch of books and they left this little book, which was a little pocket-sized Tao Te Ching, which I had actually already read and had put in the library. Somebody took the old one and brought in a little new cutie pie one, and there was a little Zen story in it.
Sono, she was…I guess she was kind of a monk in the 14th century or something. But this man came to her and he said, “Sono, I can’t, my mind is racing everywhere. And I am always so jealous and filled with hate and this kind of thing.” He said, “well, what should I do?” And she said, “Whenever something bad happens, whenever you feel uncomfortable or filled with hate, just say thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”
He tried that and he came back and he said, “Sono, I still am filled with hate and I still can’t control my mind.” And she said, “thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” And his spiritual eye opened and he was filled with love from there on out. To me, that kind of means reality is not as you would like it to be, and it’s interesting that lead with love would kind of give you, Sergio, that message. But it is true, there must be a link between acceptance, which doesn’t have to mean giving up, and love. How about you, Graci?
Graciela Sosa, Creative Director, Colibri Digital Marketing
Oh, by the way, beautiful stories. Your story, Rose’s story, and Sergio’s point of view. I loved all of them. I think lead with love is understanding that sometimes you want to talk in the same code as the other person. Why do I use the word code? Because you can talk the same language, but sometimes even talking the same language, you don’t understand the other person because you are so different. So you need to say, “okay, I know that we are different, but I like to hear from you. I like to know about you, and I want to respect you and try on your shoes” as Rose said. Also, I think that it is to be patient. I like to say I won’t lose my temper. I will have things in control in the sense that you need to be patient to be to understand the other person and get in the shoes of the other person, so I think that those two things go together.
That’s really interesting, your use of the word code like code-switching, and I think that it is really important, especially in this divisive time, is to figure out the other person’s, “code.” How about you, Jiani? What do you think?
Jiani Tian, Colibri University Intern
To me, I think it’s kind of similar to what Rose said, it is just trying to have empathy. Recently I’ve been trying to see the good in everything, not just people, but situations. I remember last Friday something didn’t go my friend’s way. It’s not the way she wanted it to go out, and I was just kind of like “try and see the good and things. Look at the silver lining.” And that’s how I’ve been trying to lead with love recently.
Yeah, bringing optimism to it. How about you, Alice?
Alice Kim, Colibri University Intern
For the past couple of months, I’ve been in charge of our social media, so I write hashtag lead with love a lot and I can definitely feel it. It’s a very intangible thing within this company, and you hear a lot of horror stories from other places of work where it’s a very toxic work environment. I can definitely feel the love from everybody here, the empathy and the patience, and I’m so grateful for that. It’s the same thing that Rose said. I definitely feel that from everybody. So, thank you.
Thank you. How about you, Maria?
Maria Andreina Perez, Project Manager, Colibri Digital Marketing
Well, I think that lead with love is mostly leading because you want progress for the people and you want to see improvement and you want to really help each other or help other people, not only because of personal benefit. It is to always work for the other and work for the best and for improvements and not only for, your own benefits. I think it’s really about considering why you are doing things and start with why for everything you want to do.
Fantastic. That is good. Even right down to a social media post. Why are we posting this? Why are we publishing our newsletter? Why are we having a team meeting? Alessandra?
Alessandra Illarramendi, Director of Operations, Colibri Digital Marketing
I think that for me, leading with love is a way of acting change. I really do believe that change happens with the little things, and I feel like everyone on this team wants a better world, and the best way we can do that is to do everything we do with love and try to do the best for everyone, not just ourselves. That, for me, is leading with love.
Yeah, that is what it is. How about you, Andre?
Andreina Villegas, Digital Marketing Manager/Director, Colibri University, Colibri Digital Marketing
For me, leading with love is, in a sense, leading by example. If you want people to be kind and bring change, then you have to bring it yourself to start. By giving an example to people, you can show them how to lead with love. Taking that initiative and taking the first step and setting the example for others is kind of the essence of leading with love for me.
That is how it is, right? That’s it, you set yourself as an example, and so you just be love, love for yourself, love for others, and once you are love, that’s the only way you can lead. But it’s hard for us to always remember our essential nature and not everybody agrees with that either. Some people feel like either people are essentially bad or they’re essentially a mixed bag, which in the everyday world is true, of course, we all have strengths and weaknesses and days that were better than other days. But my belief is that essentially we do live in a beautiful world filled with beautiful people doing their best. Some days are easier than others.
Well, that was pretty amazing.
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