“I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” John Wesley
Yes, that old English preacher said that. He would ride around the countryside on horseback to preach at different churches. And people did go to hear this man preach. His preaching changed lives. It created a movement. John Wesley was on fire.
How about you?
Leaders are passionate. They are passionate about their business, about their products/services, about the differentiation, about their staff. You can tell when you’re around a passionate leader, can’t you? Even if you don’t know much about their expertise, you can get caught up in their enthusiasm. They are infectious.
Have you ever been around a person who is in charge and it is clear that they are not passionate? Can you image the organization that they lead? I have a feeling that few others are showing any kind of passion either. Status quo probably rules the day. “We’ve always done it this way” is their motto. This type of leader and organization aren’t necessarily like Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh’s sad friend. But they aren’t Tigger either. They just are.
If you want to see results and motivate your team, check your passion. If you want to move on to the next level, check your passion. If you want to achieve, succeed, and grow, check your passion. Don’t lament about where you are today. Take what you know and where you to grow to the next level – and do it with passion. Rick Patino, basketball coach/guru said this:
“It doesn’t matter whether you are a crossing guard, a schoolteacher, or a basketball coach. It might not be where you want to be tomorrow, but it’s where you are today. Seize the day.” (from Rebound Rules)
Passion moves you to change. Passion is showing up and continuing to show up.
“But I’ve been at this same job for a long time and I’m not getting anywhere. They (corporate) don’t recognize me and my skills,” you say. What to do, what to do?
Passion says “I will not surrender”. Don’t get caught up in a pity party. Nobody wants to attend that. And you’ll go no where focusing on poor-pitiful-me. “Never complain about your problems because 95% of the people don’t care and the other 5% are glad they happened to you” (Lechter & Reid in Three Feet from Gold). Hopefully, not all of that is true. But the point is this: refuse to surrender your dream of the next level.
So how do you live in passion? Here are some ideas that I think are worth acting on:
1. Keep your dreams and goals in front of you all the time. Write them down. Do the things that will get you to your goals.
2. Be enthusiastic. Facing a tough challenge? Jump in and tackle it. Learn from it. Use your resources. Master it. As a leader, others will see your passion as a beacon and will follow. They will!
3. Don’t seek recognition if you’re not in the position you desire. Learn your profession. This will lead to mastery and will build your confidence.
4. “We have one chance to do our best on each given day; don’t waste that chance.” (Patino in Rebound Rules)
5. Never let mistakes define who you are. Learn from them and move on. Or as a wounded soldier said when asked how he faces life after being seriously injured on the battlefield, “I F.I.D.O. – forget it, drive on!”
You can approach your business, your department, your branch, your personal life with the same-ol’-same-ol’ attitude. You might grow new business. You might see success. You might achieve. But there’s a good chance that you won’t.
Or you can set yourself on fire. Know, really know, your business. Look for opportunities for your business to grow whether you are in the office or not. Throw yourself into the development of your staff. Be a cheerleader for them. Love every chance to talk with potential customers about your business. Be enthusiastic.
People will come to watch you burn – and they just might catch on fire, too!