28 Dec

Where's the Passion?

One of the most memorable lines from my childhood was the Wendy’s commercial in which Clara Peller asks “Where’s the beef?”

I find myself today asking, “Where’s the passion?” Too many organizations are lackluster and not compelling because they lack passion.

Spend time in successful organizations and you will know “Where’s the passion?”. Dynamic leaders are passionate about their organizations and missions and if they are good communicators, their passion can fuel the entire operation.

Passion is a crucial ingredient of success because it motivates people to work hard and with purpose, and it is contagious. Passion is like fertilizer for organizations.  It helps them grow and thrive.

While passion is often tempered over time by pragmatism and the realities of  the day to day tasks, it the mature  leader’s job to keep the fire in their belly both for their own sake and for the organization. It is the board’s job to set the necessary conditions to make sure that the leader can keep charged up.

Here are five ways leaders can recharge themselves:
1. Learn. Participate in on-going learning and training. Keeping current or going in-depth can be exciting and invigorating.
2. Connect. Join associations or groups. Attend events or conferences of colleagues. Being part of a community of peers is both comforting and energizing.
3. Teach. Teaching others can help leaders see things from fresh perspectives and can be inspiring to both the teacher and the students.
4. Mentor. Being a mentor can be a meaningful way to help someone else in their career while reminding the leader why they chose their path.
5. Go back to the source. While leaders typically share many similar traits, they pick various areas and issues to champion and arenas in which to lead. For each, there is a reason why they ended up in one field or caring about one cause over another. Revisiting the source or impetus for their enthusiasm both figuratively or literally can have a restorative affect.

Passion is a key ingredient of success. If your organization is smart and lucky enough to have a passionate leader, make sure to enable them to stay passionate. Don’t wait until you are asking, “Where Did Our Passion Go?”

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There are 2 comments on this post.

  1. Yoel

    December 28, 2009

    Another fantastic article

  2. Penny Schuler

    December 28, 2009

    You’re so right. If you’re passionate about something, whatever it is, it translates in your body language, tone of voice and invigorates everyone around you. When you loose it, it’s just plain sad.

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