“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you’re capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela
You can be good, maybe even very good, at what you do without having tremendous passion for it. But to be great, you must excel with unrelenting fire. You must have a burning passion. I’ve mentally trained hundreds of people who are among the best in the world at what they do, and all of them have an unrelenting fire, a deep passion that drives them.
Passion for your work is like falling in love
Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling feeling or desire for something. It’s a drive of unusual excitement or enthusiasm, a positive affinity or love, toward something or someone. Passion for your work is literally a form of falling in love. The biochemical changes that occur in your brain when you have great passion for your life’s purpose, your work, or a specific goal is the same as when you fall in love with another person. It’s powerful!
The passion that drove great leaders
Bill Gates. According to Malcom Gladwell in Outliers, Bill Gates had so much passion for programming that in high school he would climb out of his window in the middle of the night and go to the university, where he could use their mainframe for free, then return home in time to climb back through his bedroom window before his mother came to wake him up. Bill Gates became a master programmer and a Fearless Leader and built one of the most successful companies in the world because he had an unrelenting fire!
Good to Great company leaders
In his book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins wrote:
“The good-to-great companies focused on those activities that ignited their passions. The idea here is not to stimulate passion but to discover what makes you passionate.”
In my consulting, I have found one of the distinguishing traits of passionate, high-performing organizations is an obsessive focus by the people in it on both the what and the how of their business. The what in business is the one thing for which the business is known. What product or service differentiates the company from others in its market? The how is about creating a high-performance culture to sustain passion and great products or services. Google has excelled at focusing on both the what and the how.
What are you highly passionate about in your work?
Fearless Leaders is a guide to becoming a great leader, the kind of leader others want to follow. It focuses on leading yourself. Great leadership begins with mastering your own mind, (mastering fear, being your best when it counts the most and being mindful in all your decisions and exceling with unrelenting fire). Fearless Leaders will help you master your own mind to be a better leader and to be a better person; coaching can further accelerate your growth.