I believe in tough love.
If you are a leader, manager, coach, teacher or parent, caring about someone often requires you to challenge and push them to improve, grow and reach their full potential.
Even the best athletes in the world have a coach to push them.
But for tough love to work, love must come first.
If people know you care about them they will be more receptive to you pushing them.
On the other hand if you put tough before love you're more likely to face resistance.
As Andy Stanley says, "Rules without relationship leads to rebellion."
The old dictator tough, without love, style of leadership no longer works.
Having spent time with a number of professional and college sports teams it's clear that even athletes who seem to have it all want to know that their coach cares about them. The best coaches love their players and their players know it and play harder and are more loyal to that coach.
The same is true for education and business.
Research shows that test scores go up when students have a relationship with their teacher.
Numerous engagement surveys show that people are more engaged at work when they know their manager / boss cares about them.
So keep pushing your people to be their best. If you are parent like me, keep pushing your kids to reach their full potential.
Your team needs your toughness to grow!
But remember to put love first. Make relationships a priority.
Your love will create the right conditions for growth to happen!
Love + Tough = Growth