Passion, it makes the world go round. People have passion for the things they do, the people they love, the places they go. So much of the world today exists because of passion. Much of what is admired in the world was created by passion. So why do so many in business work so hard to take passion out of the equation?
My passion has been and is, business. Many people seem to have a hard time understanding this because they are either in business because they feel they need to be, or they are driven by the money factor alone. Yes, I want to make money, that is an aspect of business. But I fell in love with business and the idea of what you can do with business, the creation process of taking an idea and making it a reality and developing it and watching the business of it grow. There is an art and a science to it and yes I spend my free time studying it. Some people collect CD’s, others visit as many Starbucks as they can, me, my passion is creating ideas that change business for the better. It’s much like a well developed piece of music. You know when you hear one because it stands the test of time, it always invokes a feeling of aw, people stop and listen and are enveloped by the music as it plays. For me, I seek the same with well designed business models and programs. The ultimate customer experience, one in which it truly is an experience for both the consumer and business alike. Profitable for the company, stakeholders, employees and customers, in their own way. This is my passion, each piece of the experience is like a musical note, being places in the right place, flowing from one note to the next, allowing for the experience to be so great, the consumer wants to come back for another and another, not because it is an addiction but because it truly delivers and speaks directly to their true needs and wants. Like a great song, a great business process is designed to great aw at the satisfaction is creates yet is functional and creates profits as well.
All throughout high school and college, I read every business book I could get my hands on. Went to seminars, business camps and conferences, I couldn’t wait to get into the workforce and contribute! I graduated in 1996, so it’s been just over 10 years now. Over the years, I have noticed that the analytical side of business has grown very strong. So often when an idea comes along, a lot of people seem to embrace it and throw away all the good points of the past ideas. So when analysis and bottom line really took hold, the idea that passion should help drive your success, when away for the most part. And while I do agree that analysis is highly important and advocate it myself, it does not mean that the passion side should die out. In fact, to truly be successful a business needs to develop both equally, in equal strengths. I first really hit on how to do this, 5 years ago. Since then I have fine tuned my methods to a point where it almost is like a very well composed piece.
I’m currently job hunting, I’ve had a very unusual career path. When I graduated college with my Bachelors, I remember a professor asking me what I wanted to do. I told him, “I want to create a business model that balances human and profit performance in a way that each side has its needs met without sacrifice.” He said it will never happen. Funny thing is, he wasn’t the only one. People kept telling me this all the time, however I knew if I dug deep enough, I’d find the answer. Good thing I didn’t listen because I actually did find the way to do this. I found it because I have a passion for finding such solutions.
Passion finds the truest solution to every business problem there is. As I said, I’m currently job hunting. As a result, I get to view a lot of companies and how they present themselves either online, in print or in person. I have to say, I am surprised at how little in terms of passion is expressed. It reminds me of when I came to an organization that had a lot of fear in it, due to the poor economic climate. Since I knew I would be out the door if I didn’t perform, I just demonstrated my passion for business and how that passion translates into profit performance. I helped my team to express their passion for what they were doing to and if it wasn’t their passion, find what is and get them in that position. We became the best performing group in the company and one of the top in the industry, in less than a year. I didn’t throw away analysis, in fact, it was a huge factor in my success, but I found a way to balance all the needs of the company to gain the advantage and success they had been seeking.
Passion is highly under rated today. I was talking to a friend who told me about the free company screen savers and posters with the mission statement that were going up at her office. This was supposed to instill pride and passion for one’s work. That’s not the actually result I was picking up from her. If you really want to know a person’s passion, ask! This company didn’t ask, they just assumed and they assumed incorrectly. It costs you nothing to ask your employees or a job candidate, what’s their passion? A savvy manager will learn how to use that to their advantage. If you have an engineer who is passionate about the technical aspects of their job but not the paperwork, free them from the paperwork and let them loose on the technical stuff. His or her performance level will go up and so will your profitability.
If you have sales reps who are passionate about their job, when your industry goes in a down cycle, this will pay for itself where as your competitors may have sales reps who are there because it pays the bills. The passionate one will outsell. Passion is about taking what someone loves to do, letting them do it and getting out of their way so they can make your company more profitable. You can measure how they perform with all the analysis and bottom line tools you want, after that. But the passion needs to come first. The profits will follow if you lead the team in the correct manner.