Ok, I’m a guy, there’s no getting away from it, so when I talk to you about love and lovemaking, it’s based only on what I know for certain and what others have told me.

Like my wife Joy, for example, who told me a few years ago, for the first time, what a terrible lover I was when we first got together (in our 20s).  I was shocked. Really? Me? Terrible?  I needed to know the reason as you can imagine, if only to stop being like that again (apparently I’m much better now that I’m in my 50s)!

So what was it?  Was I selfish? Too aggressive or too shy? Was I a lazy lover? Was I eating the wrong foods? It was my facial expressions wasn’t it?

None of these things apparently, the problem according to Joy is that I just “didn’t get it“.

Wait, didn’t get it?  Or didn’t get her?  What’s the difference she says, there shouldn’t be an ‘it‘ when you’re with your lover, only a her or a him.  And who can argue with that? Not me.

Then last year I met old Bill Cannington out of Carroll Country Missouri, one of my first and most ornery lieutenants from when I started out managing the home wear section of a large (and famous) department store after I left the military. I ran into him at a convention in Milwaukee last year and after a few Johnny Walkers good old Bill knocked the wind out of me even more than Joy had when he told me what a terrible boss I was way back then. I’ll spare you the details, needless to say I was tempted to punch him at first,  but in the end he told me that I was a bad boss because when it came to managing people, and not just tasks, I “just didn’t get it!”

What I’ve come to realize is that managing different people, their motives, their perspectives and incentives, all of these things are about managing complexity. I was bad at it in my 20s whether it was in bed with my wife or at work with Bill, I just didn’t factor humans into my business process thinking at the time, even if that process was the nurturing and realization of the female orgasm.  I figured I knew Joy’s body because I’d studied it at length, but I was wrong. I failed to understand the connection between the mind, perception, dreams, reality, self image and esteem and the physical self – in short I just “didn’t get it”.

So is that why great leaders so often make great lovers?  It’s hard it know or prove if this is true even though we know instinctively it to be the case.

I’ve come to the conclusion that to be a great lover and a great leader requires basically the same human characteristic, call it a talent, skill or competency, whatever you want.  And that’s an ability to understand complexity and understand what you can and can not effect, focusing on the former and being open to the possibility of failure.

Anyway, enough about me, more on this subject in an other blog post in a few weeks – in the meantime, any thoughts? Am I missing anything?