In 2004, I had never heard of the term, “passion in the workplace.” In fact, the workplace was the furthest thing from my mind at that time because I was preparing to leave for my freshman year of college. More specifically, I was gearing up to participate in my first Summer Training & Conditioning as a college football athlete.
A few days before leaving, I admit, I was pretty anxious. Not anxious in a negative way but anxious to prove my value to the team and win the starting wide receiver position. So to work out these feelings, I decided to write the Head Football Coach a letter. In it, I described a 17 year old kid with a burning desire to be great in everything he focused on. I told him I was willing to do anything necessary to achieve my goal and the team’s goals. I swore to be first always, that’s first to the gym, first to the film room, first in every conditioning drill, and first to step up and lead by example. In the remaining 3 paragraphs, I dove deeper and deeper into myself, sharing motivators, fears, barriers, challenges, and provided further insight into why I played the game and why I chose to accept their scholarship offer over the others. Sound like passion?
There are many ways to show just how passionate you are in the workplace without a personalized letter to your boss but if the situation calls for and the organizational culture allows for it to be done safely and confidentially, then by all means go for it. If you are into writing, planning and tasking and you’re in the interview process, then you may want to try delivering a 30-60-90 Day Plan during your interview. A 30-60-90 is essentially a plan that will outline how and where you will make an impact during you probationary period or first 90 days on the job.
If you are already on the job, showing passion means you are engaged, emotionally connected to the work you’re doing and to the purpose, values and vision of the organization and its leaders. It’s being committed to doing your very best every day. Passion is one of those intrinsic motivators that is often overlooked and undervalued in the workplace. If you’ve ever experienced a passionate employee as a customer, you know it ABSOLUTELY makes a difference! You’d not only be more apt to give a positive review of the business or organization but you’d also be more likely to spend your time or money there again, recommend others, amongst many other things.
The case for passion in the workplace is a simple one. Rather you’re in the pre-employment stage or already employed, being passionate sets you a part from the field, instantly giving you and potentially your organization a competitive edge. What can help increase employee passion almost immediately is emotionally intelligent and passionate leaders.
Note* Emotionally Intelligent Leaders + Clarity (roles, goals, mission and vision) = Passionate Employees, Passionate Employees = Happy Customers, Happy Customers = Revenue Increases, Revenue Increases = Potential Organizational Growth and Employee Reward.
So as you can see, the circle completes itself without much more being done then leaders being willing to serve BEFORE they lead. This means leaders must focus on the growth and well-being of their employees, placing their employees needs first and helping them develop and perform to the best of their capabilities. This in turn creates passionate employees, beginning the transformative cycle of growth previously noted.