Have a love affair at work.

No, I’m not talking about the Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton or John Edwards kind of thing. I’m talking about the John Wooden variety. Coach Wooden’s wisdom has been captured on video in a variety of ways over the years, including this great talk at the TED Conference. But it was a blog post by Terry Starbucker, Leadership – What’s love got to do with it, that caught my attention when he profiled the coach’s quotes and a recent video from ESPN.

According to Coach Wooden, “You must set an example. Your players must know that you care for them more than just as athletes.”

This advice applies to leaders of any organization. Members of your team will be much more engaged if they know that you genuinely care for them and that they are valued, appreciated and supported.

This advice also applies to marketing leaders in your role of engaging customers. Do your company’s activities and policies demonstrate that you genuinely care for your customers? Is your “commitment to customers” authentic or just lip service? When you say your are passionate about customer service, is that really true?

Coach Wooden had a great track record of success. He cared for his players deeply and helped them become the best they could be. The winning was a bi-product of his commitment to them. A lesson we would be wise to remember.