Monday, April 13, 2009

Beyond Motivation and Passion

It seems that just as we shifted paradigms in the eighties, we worked synergistically in the nineties; now we are passionate in the naughties. Even my local petrol station has passion brochures at the pump! So what are we passionate for ?

Last October I got some unasked for, but expert, advice from an extreme extrovert to be more passionate. After I had calmed down, I took a long hard look at what I was doing and seriously questioned my passion level. This was after all, expert advice.

My research took me through a motley assortment of superficial pop psychology and self help books, all with Passion in the title and each more inane than the last. Finally I stumbled across a book by Sydney author Peter Wallman, The Wisdom of Passion. He appeared to get to the real core of what Passion is, and after meeting with him I was convinced that he had identified a simple but powerful process for identifying and capturing our core passions. I loved the simplicity of the process and the clarity it brought to me and my business. Now I assist others to identify what it is that gets their juices flowing.

Along the way through research, self analysis and questioning of my clients and others who have Passion Mapped I have identified some keys to passion.

Passion is very personal and unique to the individual.

Most of our strongest passions are kept internalised and rarely expressed outwardly.

The most powerful passions are not material (or sport).

Connecting strongly with our passions creates a magnetic effect We attract people and opportunities.

Eliciting deep passions requires skill, we have learned well from the school of hard knocks to keep this side of ourselves hidden.

When we express our passion, our voices change, our eyes sparkle, and our physical demeanor shifts.

Passion is contagious be very careful.

Passion comes before motivation and way before action.

Passion makes a difference.

I share my story of being told to be more passionate with colleagues and clients and generally get snorts of bemusement. As an introvert, I am not given to bounding into a room, leaping in the air, giving great shouts, or jumping up and down on a sofa Oprahs or anyone elses. So how do I express Passion? Tell me after you talk to me!!!

Passion is not something you have more (or less) of. Passion is inherent and intrinsic.

Last week I had the opportunity to coach 10 leaders and staff members of a niche organisation during three intense days.
Each of these individuals has a determination and a spark in their eyes, a tone of voice and a body posture which unmistakably conveys the depth of their passion about the work they do. Unsurprisingly, the organisations Director is passionately leading from the front - a true visionary leader. I felt honoured and very humbled to be coaching this particular team. Their common focus and harnessed energy, steered by their Director, is making a huge difference to their client base. Truly a high impact and passion based organisation.

One of our tasks as leaders is to uncover and unleash the hidden power of Passion in our employees, to harness and direct this passion towards a common shared goal. Just imagine, if you will, for a moment what your team could achieve this year if they were as passionately involved and focused as the organisation I mentioned earlier.

Kofi Annan said To live is to choose. But to choose, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go, and why you want to get there.
In business our Mission and Values statements spell out who we are and what we stand for, Our Vision statement gives where we want to go, and our Strategy gives us the how. But the why is missing.

Passion is the why!!

Liz Cassidy, founder of Third Sigma International is an author, Speaker, Trainer and Executive Coach and is passionate about facilitating results in the businesses, professional and personal lives of her clients. For more information

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