Change Leaders, Where Has All Your Passion Gone?
Here at Switch & Shift, we surveyed our brilliant League of Extraordinary Thinkers and asked them if they think leaders are as passionate about their work as they expect their employees to be. Here are their responses:
Are leaders as passionate about their work as they expect their employees to be? Why or why not?
If they aren’t as passionate as they expect employees to be then they aren’t actually leading. Leadership is crafting the vision you have with behaviors that get you and everyone there. If you aren’t passionate, why should they be? If you aren’t passionate, you’re going nowhere. – Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
That question opens up another large field of inquiry:
- Is the leader passionate about the mission of the organization or more passionate about serving his own self-interest?
- Is the vision of the organization compelling enough and simple enough that everyone can state it, translate what it means to them personally, and feel energized and proud at the end of the day?
- Does the organization have the flexibility and determination to allow each employee to grow his/her talents and interests?
Given the latest Gallup statistics on employee engagement, the answer appears to be NO. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.. Managers, executives and officers had the highest levels of engagement in 2014 at 38.4%. But for others, 51% are not engaged while 17.5# actively disengaged. – Eileen McDargh, The Resiliency Group
With management satisfaction at low levels, passion from managers towards their work is woefully absent in too many workplaces. The cause? While they are many, perhaps the most disruptive is the absence of clarity in direction. Yet more insidious is a purposeless work environment. It’s not possible to have passion for the things that make a difference without purpose and clarity. – Shawn Murphy, Switch & Shift
Aspirational leaders create thriving businesses where their people can flourish in environments of constant disruption. Leaders who lack passion for what they are responsible and accountable for, leadership, not only detract from their own well-being, but also the well-being of their people, and the potential for their business to thrive. Leaders ought to be modeling the character and behavior they expect of others, and just as importantly, modeling the belief in and passion for the value they create when they and their team do what they do. Leaders need to be passionate about creating workplaces that harness individual strengths and foster trust, because trust impacts every success measure of business. We are at a global tipping point of trust, and while passion alone is not enough to earn, build and maintain trust, without it, trust is at risk, and when trust is at risk… everything is at risk. – David Penglase, Intentionomics
Leadership is Passion. It is the passion to make an organization better. A passion toward each team member pushing them toward a higher level of accomplishment. A passion for continuous and deliberate self improvement. It is a passion which can not be taught, but must be learned. Leadership is a passion which intrinsically motivates people toward a common goal, ignites others and drives vision. It is a passion for fact-based decisions, not emotion-based arguments. A leader without passion is merely a manager. A leader should never expect their team to be more passionate than they are about the prospect of accomplishing the mission of a team. – Chris Stricklin, Aviation & Aerospace
It depends on the leader. The good ones are. The bad ones are not. The best leaders have a number of things in common, one of which is they hold themselves to the same standard as they hold others. The best leaders will set model the behaviors they expect from others. – Dean Brenner, The Latimer Group
The underlying question here I think is: are leaders expecting more from their people than they are giving of themselves when it comes to their passion? The answer likely yes, not based on any particular study, but on the premise that a leader sets the tone for those they lead. You can’t possibly evoke passion (and the engagement that manifests as a result of that passion) in those who work for you if you do not experience it/generate it for yourself. Passion isn’t something you can expect or mandate. You can, however, create the conditions for passion to be unleashed. Unless your own passion is unleashed it is hard to create the conditions for passion to flourish among those you lead. Said another way, if passion is missing in an organization the first place to look is up. – Susan Mazza, Random Acts of Leadership™
True leaders are at least as passionate as they expect their employees to be, but even more so they master the art of passing on their passion and energy to others. Not only are they passionate about what they do (their work), but also about with whom they do it (their people). They create a positive ripple effect of enthusiasm throughout their organization, turning passion into something that is contagious. They create a culture of passion by cultivating the 4 Ps of Passion: Personal freedom, Participation, Progress, and Positivism. Unfortunately, true leaders are still being outnumbered by ‘fake leaders’. The latter lack authenticity when it comes to being passionate, hide behind their formal role and authority, and face difficulties with uniting people around a common interest or purpose. Still a long way to go! – Kristof De Wulf, InSites Consulting
Passion is vital to successful leadership. Passion propels people into leadership roles, it keeps them there, and in certain circumstances, it spills over to followers. Because leaders value passion, it is only natural that they expect passion in the workplace. Easier said than done. Without a compelling vision and purpose that matters to employees, workplace passion is little more than a whiff of smoke in the wind. Great leaders take vision and passion to the next step by investing their time and energy to create environments in which employees are engaged in meaningful work and eager to contribute. When this is realized, the result is competitive advantage. – John Bell, CEO Afterlife
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