“Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.”
Passionate leaders smile, are animated and talk positively. They excite, enthuse and energise others. Passion is very difficult to fake, and certainly isn’t driven by shoulds. Passion wanes and dies as we try to fulfil the demands of others, rather than staying true to who we are.
So let me ask you a question. Is there passion in your board room?
A common hindrance to continued success is getting bogged down in seemingly important stuff. Rather than being driven by an energising force we succumb to those voices which tell us what we should be doing. We sigh, moan and get tetchy. Our passion is long gone, replaced by a list of shoulds which grow as if fed on fertiliser. Let me tell you – there is a way out, and it’s very simple.
Here’s a three step strategy to being a passionate once more;
1. Take a blank sheet of A4, draw a vertical line down the middle. On top left write “Enjoy”, on the right “Hate”. Now make a list of all the things you either enjoy or hate about your current role. Examples might include “accounting, meeting customers, managing staff, staff meetings, HR, problem solving, strategy..” There is no right or wrong. Take some time. Think through your daily activities throughout a typical week. (Note, this example relates to work, but it works with any area of your life).
2. Ask those who know you well; what is it you enjoy, get passionate about, and.. are good at! You may be surprised at their answers. It’s surprising how many people think we should be doing things we don’t enjoy. Given a choice, I’d much rather earn money doing something I enjoy, than doing something I don’t.
3. Focus on spending more time doing the Enjoy list, and work out proactive ways to spend much less time doing the Hate list. As a leader, you have the power to make the changes! Here’s a starter for ten to make the required changes; prioritise, delegate, recruit, outsource, training, partnerships, coaching, change roles/company, change the rules, give yourself permission to do more of what you love/enjoy, involve others, talk to others, ask others for help. That’s quite a list. What works for you?
Asking others for help is often one of the most difficult things a leader can do. Watch this space for a future article on leadership support.
In summary, to keep passion in the board room (and throughout your life) re-engage with what you enjoy, and reduce or pass on those things you hate. Your staff, clients and family will thank you for it.
Author: Mark Bateman, June 2012, Image HikingArtist