I am a hopeless romantic, I admit it. So it tickles me to see that LOVE is at the core of many of our newest and freshest perspectives on management and business.
I have been rereading Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, for a project. The first time I read it, I loved it, but I did not see that it was a management book in addition to a marketing book. Kevin Roberts has written a great book about leadership, management, and maximizing performance – even if he wasn’t trying.
I will be sharing bits and pieces from the book that can help us be better managers and leaders all this Valentine’s Day week. If you are uncomfortable reading about love, intimacy, and sensuality in business terms, be prepared to hang out on the edge with me.
Before I get into Lovemarks, let’s chat about aphrodisiacs! First, here’s a definition of an aphrodisiac from Gourmet Sleuth:
"Aphrodisiacs are those things that cause us – either males or females – to feel sexually aroused, to desire, to become romantically excited. Aphrodisiac stems of course from Greek – aphrodisiakos, from aphrodisia – sexual pleasures; and especially from the Greek mythology, in which Aphrodite, was the Goddess of love and sex. The Cambridge History of Food writes, that "Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for various sexual anxieties including fears of inadequate performance as well as a need to increase fertility. Procreation was an important moral and religious issue and aphrodisiacs were sought to insure both male and female potency."
Several sorts of food are believed to be aphrodisiacs: chocolate is well known as an aphrodisiac, as well as oysters, pine-nuts, sea turtle eggs and animal genitalia. The reasons for the beliefs on these foods are various: some have actual influence on our brains; others consist of animal or plants parts that are considered "fertile" in mythology."
In other words, aphrodisiacs are foods and substances that turn on our senses. A few years back, I read up on the qualities that were believed to make something an aphrodisiac. Several words resonated again and again:
Think bold red wine, truffles, oysters, and even fine jasmine tea. We are drawn to scents, tastes, sights, sounds, and smells that are elemental, at our core, of our earth.
I will acknowledge that if you do a Google search on this, you will see that there is little agreement about whether aphrodisiacs exist and which items might qualify as aphrodisiacs. Little scientific evidence exists for any of this. That said, we are talking about matters of the heart and mind – so what’s true or can be measured with electrodes is not relevant or important. What IS important is whether and how our senses are aroused.
What are the sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and smells that turn us on at work? How do we create the conditions that evoke intellectual excitement, curiosity, and engagement? We will be exploring the answers to these questions all week.