I wrote a post a while ago about how passion makes our work worth doing. There was a pattern in some of the comments and emails I received that broke my heart. People asked, “What do I do if my manager doesn’t support my passion?”
There are a lot of options to answer that question and each person has to do what’s best for him/her at the time. My response is more so directed to all the leaders out there that these employees are referring to: start paying attention to what you’re employees’ passions are and empower them to do great things with those passions.
It all starts with simply talking to people. Leadership is not for everyone. It’s only for those who understand how to connect with people and push them to achieve the best possible things in work and in life. Leaders care about employees on a personal level and assume the responsibility of helping them reach far and high. They reward employees for being passionate about and succeeding in their work.
Once you know what your employees are passionate about, try to empower them to use their passions to take risks at work, try new projects and make decisions. When they succeed, fight for them to grow within the organization so that they can continue the momentum rather than let their passion and energy go stale.
Don’t diminish people’s passions and don’t let them go to waste. People who are passionate about their work are out to make you look good as much as they are out to make themselves look good. It’s a win-win situation that too many leaders miss out on because they’re afraid of failure, pushback and employees passing them up in the race to the top.
Things are changing at lightening speed these days and there are plenty of people willing to leave a leader or organization that won’t allow them to succeed. I maintain my belief that passion makes our work worth doing but we also need great leaders who allow us to continue our passion for our work. Luckily, there’s a great way to keep our teams energized, motivated and inspired and that’s to ignite their passion and don’t let the flame burn out!