I was leading a workshop last year on emotional intelligence, and using examples of how I had witnessed and applied it along my professional journey. At the end of the session, several participants approached me and noted how much passion I had for leading this particular topic. I thanked them and gave that some thought on the three-hour drive home.
I was flattered that a group of strangers had recognized a passion I had for delivering meaningful content around a topic I deem central to success. You see, anything I truly believe in I am committed to get others excited about. Life is easier that way and there is no better tool to generate influence and enthusiastic participation.
When you think of people who can generate enthusiastic participation, your head can naturally fill with a host of names. If you are like me, most are people in your own lives. I think of Bob Burg, the author of Adversaries into Allies and co-author of The Go-Giver. Bob is so passionate about being authentic and walking in your value, you can’t help but be enthusiastic about your own mission after engaging with him.
I think of my mother and her passion for keeping me motivated in the early years of my career. Her passion for my potential was impossible to measure. I was determined to never let her down.
Being a passion oriented person is central to being an impactful leader. While there are differing forms of how passion is displayed, sustainable leadership is centered on an authentic belief that something is worthwhile.
So what does the passionate leader look like, how do they express their passion, and use it to inspire their followers?
Passionate leaders are honest and transparent about their passion, and it runs deep. In the depth of their being they are driven to experience the intensity of their passion. Be it for leadership, growth and development, philanthropy, family, or any of the innumerable things humans care deeply about.
These individuals understand that passion is the fuel that drives the vision and mission. Great leaders can harness this fuel and use it to achieve broader objectives. All while encouraging and inspiring others to join the cause and move towards the goal.
Passionate leaders stay true to the course, always striving to keep the main thing in the center of their crosshairs as they boldly move forward.
At the end of most speeches and all the workshops I do, I encourage people to find their passion in everything they do. I ask them to close their eyes and think of their most prized possession. I remind them of the passion I am sure accompanies this association. Then, using a John Lennon analogy, I ask them to imagine…imagine the impact of bringing their passion into their daily routine.
Passion is not just for leaders, it is for everyone. We are all auditioning for the next big gig and success depends on others. When you bring passion, you bring others. Go ahead, close your eyes and imagine…it’s easy if you try.