We are often told that great leadership and success flows from the passionate vision held by the entrepreneur or CEO and how they followed their dream fuelling their passions as the company prospered.
I may be a sceptic but this raises two questions in my mind, firstly what is it about “grey widgets” that fuelled such passion and secondly is the passion story really true or a heroic post script?
Passion (let’s set aside the boy meets girl and….) is a much confused state, for instance is it about the activity or the outcome? Let me give you a couple of examples:-
As a teenager I really enjoyed dismantling and reassembling cars and motor cycles. Learning all I could about the intricate detail of what enabled these machines to function was a wonder to me. Wow a natural engineer claimed my parents!
As a mature adult I turned to cooking in my spare time, restaurant quality food perfectly plated. Wow, open a restaurant my friends cried!
Let me be clear I not passionate about engineering or restaurants but I am passionate about taking a complex problem and delivering solutions. I am not rewarded by the repair or the cooking but by the solution, one could say I am indifferent to the action but passionate about the outcome.
Today I watched a Barista making my regular coffee, her face a study in concentration yet as she placed the coffee on the table in from of me her face was a picture of happy satisfaction. Whether she realises it or not her passion is in pleasing people.
Back to our successful entrepreneurs and CEO’s; are they really passionate about the production of “grey widgets” or are they in fact passionate about a task well done? I think it is generally the latter!
Perhaps we should look at what turns us on rather than our passions – a new take on the Chicken & Egg?
Barking Mad with Neil Steggall
Business Advice with Bite