Is it possible to be an effective leader if you are not passionate about what you are leading? Can you act the part and convince your organization or team that you are enthusiastic about the mission you are driving? While it is possible to lead something you are not passionate about, you will not be as effective or enjoy the experience as much. To get the most robust results from a challenging opportunity requires that you have passion about what you are doing. For example, early in my career I discovered I had a passion for transformation projects. Because of my enthusiasm for this type of work I was able to lead many teams where we met and often exceeded very aggressive stretch goals.
I understand there are always times in our lives when we have to work through something that is not what you thought you signed up for or that you have to do because of sheer responsibility. Certainly every job has elements that we would rather avoid. I’ve never been fond of administrative tasks, like tracking expenses, but I still have to get them done. However, when it comes to leading an initiative it is critical that I can rally around the mission with enthusiasm and sincere passion about the task. If not, how could I expect my organization to follow me? Probably in the same way I would be leading; with half-hearted intentions.
It is so powerful to embark on a project or goal with the excitement and energy to go at it full force. I’ve always known when it was time to leave a job and take on a new responsibility. In the past year and a half since I’ve left my career in the high tech industry I’ve embarked on various ventures. Every one of them has been something I am truly passionate about and has a sense of purpose to me. I’ve made a commitment to be intentional with what I work on and only get involved when they align with my passions.