(Here is the next section in my L.E.A.D. (Leadership Effectiveness and Development) initiative that I’m doing with my team here at work.)
For a team to succeed every member must know and understand their specific role so that you are united in working to achieve the team’s goal. It’s the bigger picture that drives your actions. While this is broadly understood in most businesses, it is usually approached in a purely practical way by determining SMART objectives or establishing clear KPIs. And there is nothing wrong with that, but for best performance it lacks a vital ingredient: emotion.
Emotion is the extra gear, or passion, you need to go from cruising speed to take off. When teams have an emotional bond, members understand each other better, know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, support each other through tough times and enjoy celebrating successes together. (Marianne Hewlett)
Definition: noun – a strong and barely controllable emotion.
“Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do. Simply put, it’s being who you are and doing what comes naturally. When what you do is in alignment with who you are, you get energy from doing it. It’s like water flowing along its natural riverbed. It actually gains energy from the path it’s taking (compare that to what most people experience in their work, which is more like trying to force it up and over a mountain).”
Points to Ponder:
“Passion is infectious…and the catalyst leaders use to excite others. Passion is what others view as strength and confidence as they’re led down a path full of obstacles and danger. Passion makes you brave (some might say stupid)…Passion is what helps you up after a fall.
The role of leader doesn’t come easy because you have passion. At first, many people will be skeptical, even afraid, to go along with you. Leaders don’t go where everyone else has already been; they go where no one has gone before and that is what makes them leaders.
Passion is always shown, not told….do what you’re passionate about and it won’t feel like work at all…There’s an added bonus because passion is an adventure so you’ll never be bored!”
“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!
What Passion Does for Us:
“1. Passion produces energy.
A leader who has passion is driven forward from the energy it produces. When it comes to leading yourself and others, passion and energy are essential. Donald Trump said, “Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you have nothing.” Leaders who have passion also bring energy into what they do.
2. Passion drives vision.
If a leader wants to see their vision and goals being accomplished, then the leader’s passion is the fuel that drives the production and results of the vision. The vision of the organization or team should be frequently and passionately communicated to others.
3. Passion ignites others.
We have all seen or been around a passionate leader. I personally know after I’m around a passionate leader their energy and passion rubs off on me. This causes me to feel more energized and motivated. A person’s passions can ignite other people’s passions and bring energy into their lives.
4. Passion raises influence.
John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” This is what happens when a leader has passion. The leader starts gaining more with others, and people want to be a part of what’s going on. If you want to raise your influence, then you need to be a passionate leader.
5. Passion provides potential.
I have observed that a leader’s passion brings new opportunity and opens the door to success. This is because when you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it moves you closer to your potential. Moving you closer to your potential causes you to be moving into the next level within your career and personal journey.” (Dan Black, http://danblackonleadership.info/)
Something to think about:
“Without passion, man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel, Writer
Here at work:
- What makes you spark?
- What inspires you?
- What gives you so much satisfaction or/such a buzz that you would do it for free?
- What role does passion play in your working life?