The Business Romantic Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Business Romantic shows how doing business that is focused on passion and connection leads to more success in today’s world.

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The Business Romantic Summary

What do you think of when you hear the word businessman? Most likely, you think of fancy suits, nice offices at the tops of skyscrapers, ruthlessness, and greed. If I were to tell you that romanticism and business go together, you might think I was crazy. But this is a mindset that we all should change. 

These days, to bring in customers and employees, companies need to be more human. And that includes a romantic approach. That doesn’t mean taking your clients out for nice candle-lit dinners or otherwise being weird. What most people really seek is connection, and that’s true for business as well.

Tim Leberecht’s The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself will show you what it means to apply romanticism to business. You’ll also see how doing so will improve your company culture and customer satisfaction.

Here are 3 of my favorite lessons from this book:

  1. Connection beats productivity for success in the workplace.
  2. One great way to help those you work with and do business for is to provide opportunities for others to give. 
  3. A product that challenges your customers a little will give you a unique edge.

Get your candlelight dinner ready and let’s learn how romanticism applies to business!

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Lesson 1:  If you want to be successful at the office, focus on connection, not just productivity.

Picture this. You’re sitting in the office lunchroom after enjoying a nice birthday cake for a coworkers birthday. Suddenly, the boss walks in and tells everyone it’s time to get back to work. Although they may not do it in a mean way, their comment sort of deflates the fun atmosphere, right?

I had this experience not long ago, and it wasn’t fun. Looking back at that job, I could see that the company was more concerned with metrics than people. I heard countless coworkers of mine saying how afraid they were of the managers seeing them talking with one another. I’m glad I got out of there!

Most companies prioritize tasks over chatting, but is this the right approach? Science says your boss might be wrong to keep you from talking too much in the office. One study discovered that happiness at work similar to happiness experienced outside the workplace only comes from informal conversations with coworkers.

We know from The Happiness Advantage that happiness leads to success and not the other way around. Casual conversations, then, as the highest source of in-office happiness, are a catalyst for success. 

Forget worrying about continuing that interesting conversation you’re having with a coworker. Keeping up office comradery just might be what’s keeping you productive.

Lesson 2: Giving gifts is a great way to energize your workplace.

What better way to connect with someone than to give them gifts? After all, it is one of The 5 Love Languages! Although this may seem like an odd idea, remember that gift-giving is a deeply human experience. It leaves both the giver and receiver feeling happy and connected. It’s a vital component of romantic business. 

If you’re still skeptical of the merits of gift-giving in the office, look to Adam Grant’s Give and Take. Grant affirms that benevolence at work boosts employee motivation. Building a culture of giving enhances innovation, collaboration, and quality.

So how can you apply this idea in the workplace? Provide employees with the opportunity to give to one another as part of their tasks. It may take some creativity, but it will do wonders for your workplace culture and happiness.

Danish chocolatier Anthon Berg is one great example of creative gift-giving in a business setting. A pop-up store in Copenhagen asked customers to pay for their sweets with a promise to do a good deed for another person. 

Another source to look for inspiration on the subject is Reddit. In the Random Acts of Pizza subreddit, Redditors buy pizza for each other based on funny, creative, or entertaining requests. The result is that using and working for Reddit is even more fun.

Lesson 3: Get a leg up on the competition by finding ways to make your product or service a somewhat challenging experience.

Have you ever wondered why people camp out for days just to get the newest Apple device? Why go through all the trouble? And how on earth is IKEA still in business if their stuff is so difficult to put together?!

What we don’t see is that people enjoy a little challenge when it comes to a product or service. Most people would rather have an experience, challenge, or get a reward than just have everything handed to them. The adventure that some products give us makes them unique. They stand out against the competition, and their value rises.

Think back to the IKEA example. Do you remember the last time you purchased something that you had to assemble yourself? Wasn’t it a little bit exciting?

I used to play with Legos as a kid and the last time I bought something from IKEA it took me right back to my childhood. It felt great to build something myself. The feeling of accomplishment that came with seeing the finished product made me appreciate it even more.

Be careful though, because if a product requires too much effort, it will only frustrate them. And for something that demands too little effort, customers won’t see it’s value.

The Business Romantic Review

I really enjoyed The Business Romantic. While a lot of the ideas seem obvious to me, I can understand how some of the older generations will need to learn these lessons to thrive with the up and coming millennials in business. I’m excited to see this shift in mindset and hope to see it continue to grow to make the workplace better for everyone!

Who would I recommend The Business Romantic summary to?

The 45-year-old manager who can’t find a way to understand and connect with his millennial-age workers, the 58-year-old CEO who would like to acquire some fresh, young talent, and anyone who wants to be a leader in a company.

Last Updated on September 6, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.