Love Is The Killer App

In 2000, I attended a conference for business innovators entitled CRAVE where Tom Peters was the keynote speaker. He opened up the session in his typical energized style. Since that time, I’ve followed Tom’s work and that of his tribe, including Tim Sanders.

Tim is a man on a mission. His job, or some say calling, is spreading the word about corporate social responsibility. If a company is committed to social responsibility, they ask Tim to ratchet up participation and innovation. If a company wants to improve relationships both inside and outside the company, they bring Tim in to talk about how to do it.

I haven’t heard Tim speak “live” yet, but I have read and enjoyed his book, Love Is The Killer App. Tim’s message, “If you want to fix your future, start by fixing yourself. In the face of war and recession, what the business world needs is less greed — and more love.” He argues that now more than ever, the road to prosperity is paved with a commitment to generosity. Tim professes that the most powerful force in business is love. It’s what will help your company grow and become stronger. It’s what will propel your career forward. It’s what will give you a sense of meaning and satisfaction in your work. Tim Sanders’ (TS) spirit is infectious and genuine. Here are a few further doses from the heart:

AM: What does it mean to be a “Lovecat”?
A Lovecat pursues success by growing others in their path. They share their intangibles: Knowledge, Networks and Compassion. Their recipients reciprocate (say that 3 times fast) by loving, returning, paying forward and most importantly — growing! The Lovecat is tough, when someone fails to reciprocate, no more love. The Lovecat is patient as reciprocation can occur years and years later. AM: Please describe briefly your definition of a “scarcity mindset”.
The scarcity mindset is a frame of mind where a person believes that the pie of life is fixed or shrinking. I call them “small pie victims.” Because this is their way of seeing the world, they often compete instead of collaborate. The success of others makes the scarcity thinker miserable and jealous. They don’t share much either, and as a result receive very little positive feedback. People come down with scarcity thinking, which is like a flu for your attitude. When you believe that there’s not enough to go around (money, respect, time), you become combative, competitive and unhappy. This dramatically impacts your ability to succeed.

You can catch scarcity from other people (I call them “Chicken Littles”), competitors or current events. These days, scarcity thinking is promoted by the news. When employees focus on the news, the market and the pundits, they get that “Deer-in-the-Headlines” look and freeze up. Innovation, collaboration and customer service all suffer when people think in terms of scarcity. What I advocate is abundance thinking, which as Dr. Stephen Covey explains, comes from a deep sense of self-worth. You have to believe that with imagination and effort, anything is possible. You can find the money to survive. You will garner the respect to move up. You will find the time to harness technology innovations. This is the way to think, especially when times are tough. I call it “defying emotional gravity”.

AM: Describe your “likability factor” exercise and two ways individuals can increase our score.
The 5 by 5 exercise is a great way to improve your ability to connect with others on a passion-to-passion level (see my full blog post and download the handout here: AM: What would you say is your unique ability?
My unique ability lies in how I share information. I’m a voracious student and researcher. I’m a constant thinker and philosopher. I’m a non-stop traveling speaker. I’m a always-writing-a-new-book author. All of these professions are related to how I absorb and distribute information. Then again, my hometown pastor did it too in his own way… I teach people how to maintain their outlook, protect relationships and ‘multiply value’ for customers and partners. That is a consistent theme to my books, blogs and talks. I think of myself as a business-relationship expert. When I think of my value, it comes down to takeaways that create action. When my audience goes home and changes behavior, I know I’ve done my job. AM: What is the single greatest piece of advice you’ve received?
Follow your purpose and if possible, leverage your passion. This is a piece of advice that came together from multiple sources ranging from Tolle to Frankl to Warren to Mourkogiannis. If you figure out what your purpose is, or which purpose you can align with – you now have a true north that defines “moving forward.” You test every thing you consider getting involved with via the acid test, “is it helpful towards my purpose?” If you follow your passion(s), you’ll live an eclectic life and often find yourself in ruts or suffering artists-block. Purpose, on the other hand, can absorb or become your passion — grounding you in significance instead of the quicksand of seeking-success. For example, my personal mission, thus purpose, is: “To promote the end of suffering.” Every business opportunity or time commitment (including this post) is scrutinized against the mission. So when I do something, I do it with gusto! And I never run out of energy. Also, I tell leaders that if their employees are down in the dumps over the economy, they should be reminded of their purpose. If they are in health care, their purpose is saving lives, for example. If they are in consulting, their purpose is helping clients find success. You’d be surprised how many times purpose takes a back seat to survival in leader messaging.

Tim Sanders has weathered the quality movement as well as the dotcom crash and emerged with precious insight. He was the Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! and later its Leadership Coach. Prior to his senior positions at Yahoo!, Tim created & led the Yahoo! ValueLab, an in-house “think tank” which delivered futuristic insight on technology & human behavior. His first book, Love Is the Killer App: How To Win Business and Influence Friends is a New York Times & international business best seller. It stresses the importance of knowledge sharing, networking & compassion. His follow up, The Likeability Factor explains the concept of emotional talent and the importance of creating an engaging experience. His newest book, Saving The World At Work, examines the external relationship between a business and society. Visit Tim’s blog at: or follow him on Twitter: