What ignites passion and high performance? This was on my mind recently as I attended the Clifton Strengths Summit in Omaha. One speaker after another shared how they made major contributions and differences by integrating a strengths culture into something they were passionate about – education, state government, organizations – the possibilities are endless.
The energy and the enthusiasm were palpable throughout the summit, filled with people who are open and proud of the strengths they brought to the table. You could feel the interdependent nature of the strengths for the sake of making the world a place where all humans can thrive. We celebrated each other for our strengths.
Every single day I see extraordinary contributions from those who are connected to their strengths and their higher purpose. When you’ve tapped into your unique gifts and talents that become your strengths you experience an explosion of energy and a desire to contribute.
I invite you to this is part 2 in this 5-part series on Passion and Great Leaders by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Passion is the spark that motivates extraordinary performance. Click To Tweet
“If you haven’t clearly articulated the ‘why’ of your business, people will struggle to be engaged in the ‘what’ their job requires.”
In his brilliant 2009 TED Talk and book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek emphasizes there has to be a reason – a purpose – for today’s workers to commit and give their best efforts to an organization:
“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. If you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
Employees are often unclear about how their job contributes to the organization’s purpose. They lack the vision for how they can be a part of the purpose – in part because they cannot clearly articulate this purpose or their own personal purpose. Without clarity they find it challenging to give their wholehearted participation.
As a leader, igniting passion in others starts with defining and articulating your personal and company purpose and a vision – your beliefs, values, strengths, passions, principles and alignment to the company’s mission.
Purpose is not WHAT a group does, but WHY it performs. Defining your purpose is just the first step. What is your vision for how to engage your people? As a leader, you must activate and tap into the emotions and desires of your people.
Linking Purpose and Passion
Purpose encourages people to do the right things. Passion is the spark that motivates your people to give extraordinary performance.
“To put it bluntly, the most important task for any manager (leader) today is to create a work environment that inspires exceptional contribution and that merits an outpouring of passion, imagination and initiative.”
— Gary Hamel, What Matters Now:
How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation (Jossey-Bass, 2012)
Smart leaders, like you, infuse passion into your workplaces by hiring for it from the start. What I find, however, is that few leaders or managers know how to hire for passion. It’s just not something that is clearly defined or articulated in the workplace, nor in the Human Resources process. It’s almost impossible to do if you have not taken the time to define your personal and company purpose and vision – your beliefs, values, passions, principles and connection to the company’s mission. You cannot skip the personal work. It’s a critical step!
Have you done your personal work? Do you have a purpose to your work, one that aligns with the company you work for? Do have a vision for your people? You can reach me here or on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear what’s happening where you work.