Is passion really important?

A few years ago I heard the best definition of passion I’ve heard and it really resonated with me. This quote reminded me of the importance of passion and how passion is the fuel that drives us to do great things.

The quote came from Louie Giglio and he said “Passion is the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to achieve the goal.” If you want to know what you are passionate about then ask yourself what you are willing to endure to see something happen.

Passion is one of the three integral components of the Hedgehog Concept I blogged about yesterday. It’s that fire that burns within us that keeps us going when things get tough. It’s fuel for a leader.

Collins says, “You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.” This is a daunting task and is not something that comes passively. It takes active engagement from a leader to help others kindle their passions and leverage those to contribute towards the bigger picture.

Here are two great quotes from two leaders I admire. They realized the centrality of passion in leadership and modeled it in their unique organizations.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles. Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit. You believe that nothing can stop you!” – Coach Mike Krzyzewski

I think the most difficult situation to be in is be constantly doing things you are not passionate about or stuck in a job where your passion has been doused. Like Steve Jobs said, life is too short to settle and stay in a place where you are not passionate about what you do. Engage in things that kindle your passion and fan the flames that are within you.

Discussion Question: What are you passionate about?

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