Is Love Better than Passion in Business & Cybersecurity? 

 February 14, 2024

By  Jane Frankland

Every Valentine’s Day, we’re inundated with imagery of passion. In the business world, too, passion is often heralded as a key ingredient for success. But I dare to offer a different perspective, one rooted in the virtues of love.

You see, I believe in love. It’s always the answer to a problem. The antidote to fear. The source of inspiration. The thing that connects us all. And the key ingredient for success in business.

Love is the steady undercurrent that drives successful businesses, not the transient flames of passion. And as I dive into this debate with you, I’m going to explore how nurturing a culture of love—where dedication, empathy, and connection thrive—can lead to more sustained and fulfilling corporate success stories in our cybersecurity field.

Let’s go!

Passion vs. Love

The distinction between the two is often blurred and I’ve written and spoken abut this many times. The way I see it, is that passion is a critical spark that propels leaders (especially entrepreneurs) into action. It ignites teams to innovate. It’s the fire of initial excitement at a new idea, product, or venture.

On the other hand, love is the earth that nurtures the business’s roots. It runs deeper, carrying with it the dedication and the willingness to see things through not just when they’re exciting but when they are hard.

In the context of business, let’s clarify what these terms really mean:

    • Passion is characterised by enthusiasm and excitement, often associated with short-term projects or individual interests.

    • Love in business, however, fosters a deep sense of care, commitment, and continuity. It’s about creating a sustainable, long-lasting relationship with your work, your team, and your clients.

The Problem with Passion

Passion isn’t without its pitfalls, especially when it’s the sole driving force behind business decisions. Here’s why:

Overemphasis on Short-Term Enthusiasm

Passion can be fickle. In the startup world, passion projects often spring up, fuelled by the latest trend or gadget, only to fizzle out when the market shifts. This short-term focus can breed an environment of constant change and lack of strategic direction, as project leaders are quick to chase the Next Big Thing.

Lack of Commitment and Sustainability

When passion wanes, as it inevitably does, it can leave projects and, worse yet, entire ventures adrift. Teams built solely on passion may lack the grounding to weather the inevitable storms of business, leading to high turnover and project abandonment.

Unrealistic hiring needs

One of the side effects of a passion-driven culture is unrealistic hiring expectations. Passion alone isn’t enough to sustain a business, and it shouldn’t be the sole criteria for determining who joins your team. Passionate people can be a great addition, but they must also be values aligned, and have the skills and dedication to see projects through to completion.

So if passion isn’t the be-all and end-all, what’s the alternative? The answer lies in the power of love.

The Power of Love

Love in business brings a multitude of strengths that passion alone cannot provide. Love in business entails:

Deep Connection and Long-Term Dedication

Where passion offers a sprint, love offers a marathon. Love fosters deep connections and inspires long-term dedication to a company’s mission and vision. It is this longevity and steadfastness that forms the bedrock of many successful businesses.

Building Trust and Loyalty

An environment crafted on love breeds trust and loyalty. When employees feel valued and supported in a nurturing work culture, they not only stick around for the tough moments, but they also become the strongest advocates, both internally and externally. Customers and prospects see this too , and it helps to establish a brand as trustworthy and authentic. When trust is eroding and being threatened, this is something we need more of – and I’ll be writing about this shortly. 🙂

Resilience in Difficult Times

Business, like life, is full of ups and downs. Love-based management is resilient in the face of adversity. It empowers leaders and teams to stick together, evolve, and find new paths forward in difficult times, fostering an environment where challenges are seen as opportunities for growth, not threats to flee from.

Examples and Case Studies

Some of the most enduring business stories are marked by love. From the love and care Steve Jobs had for Apple’s design and ethos, to the familial culture nurtured by Pixar, these organisations are testaments to the enduring strength of love over passion. They’ve shown that businesses that prioritise empathy, teamwork, long-term relationships, courtesy, respect, kindness, dignity, work-life balance, community involvement, ethical sourcing, sustainability, and transparent communication are not only more successful in the long run but also provide a healthier and happier work environment.

A modest example in cybersecurity comes to mind too. In a recent post, Tinesh Chhaya demonstrated his love for people and commitment to “pay it forward” by taking on the role of a recruiter for a day. Despite this not being his typical job (he’s the CEO of an intelligence platform, Jenny), he sought to connect hiring managers with senior executives in search of new roles. Through this endeavour, he not only facilitated valuable connections between security leaders worldwide but also forged new friendships and received offers of assistance for his own challenges. This authentic display of generosity and networking exemplifies an act of love in business – a dedication to fostering meaningful relationships and making a positive impact within the cybersecurity industry.

Addressing Counterarguments

It’s common to hear counterarguments against the idealistic notion of ‘love’ in a cutthroat business world, with some suggesting it as a recipe for complacency. However, the argument is not for a lack of ambition but a redefining of success. Love in business is about creating environments where ambition and compassion coexist—where team members are held accountable, but also genuinely cared for.

Creating a Culture of Love in Business

So how do you go about creating a culture of love in the cybersecurity workplace? Here are some simple steps to get started:

  • Start with yourself: Leaders in particular must embrace and model love in their work approach. When leaders embody dedication, empathy, respect, integrity, connection and love for themselves (I’m not talking narcissm) and others, it permeates throughout the entire organisation.

  • Foster open communication: Encourage open and honest communication between team members. This not only creates a sense of trust but also allows for problems to be addressed and solutions to be found together.

  • Value work-life balance: Prioritise the well-being of employees by promoting a healthy work-life balance. This can include flexible schedules, remote work options, and mental health support.

  • Recognise and appreciate employees: Take the time to recognise and appreciate your team’s hard work and contributions. This can be through bonuses, team events, or simple acts of gratitude like saying “thank you” for the work they do.

  • Embrace diversity and inclusivity: Celebrate the unique strengths and perspectives of each team member by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

  • Tell your clients you love and value them: This may feel strange at first, but expressing genuine care and appreciation for your clients can go a long way in building strong relationships and loyalty.


As we reflect on the meaning of love this Valentine’s Day, especially in cybersecurity, let’s extend its definition from the personal to the professional. While passion has its place in driving the initial spark of an idea, it’s love that will see a business through in the long term.

By prioritising love—dedication, connection, and resilience—businesses can create environments where, like a strong relationship, everyone involved is empowered, inspired, and part of something greater than themselves.

Love truly is the ultimate competitive advantage. So let’s lead with it and watch as our businesses thrive with steadfastness, resilience, and purpose. As we move forward, let’s remember to show love and compassion in our actions, decisions, and interactions. That way we can build a world of successful cybersecurity businesses driven by love and witness the profound impact it can have on not only our bottom lines but on the lives of all those involved in our corporate stories.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Honoured to serve you, as always.

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Jane frankland


Jane Frankland is a cybersecurity market influencer, award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She is the Founder of KnewStart and the IN Security Movement. Having held executive positions within her own companies and several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business solutions. Jane works with leaders of all levels and supports women in male dominated industries like cybersecurity and tech. Her book, IN Security: Why a failure to attract and retain women in cybersecurity is making us all less safe' is a best-seller.


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