“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson sums up the secret to great leadership in this saying: inspiring through passion.
Olympians may thank a passionate coach, artists a parent or professor, activists a historic figure. The people who share their passions with us are those who shape our lives the most.
How can we utilize passion as leaders to challenge and bring out the best in our teams? Keep reading to find out.
People Follow Passion
Passion is the hidden, driving force that elicits interest and engagement. That’s why passionate people are more connected, happy in their roles, and pushing the boundaries of what is into what will be.
While management involves ordering the pieces so others follow through on their tasks, leadership inspires others to take action on their own fruition using passion.
The best part about passion is that it can be shared and multiplied. Your passion has the potential to cause a chain reaction and become another person’s (or many peoples’) passion too.
Interested another way managers are different from leaders? Check out this Arden post.
Do You Draw Out People’s Passions?
There are, of course, patterns in the behaviors of leaders who inspire others through passion. Let’s take a look at some of the trends found in the ways passionate leaders operate with their people:
- Set high expectations. If people know we see great potential in them, they’ll often go to great lengths to live up to and even surpass our expectations.
- Keep track of progress. Great leaders look both ways on the way to attaining a goal, ahead to what’s next, and back at all that’s been accomplished. Framing the here and now in this way can be an incredible source of motivation.
- Provide support. When the going gets tough, make sure there’s a network of support and resources set up to help team members push through challenges, the most important being honest and consistent feedback.
- Recognize key achievements. Celebrate and reward successes on the individual and group level to continue the passion chain reaction.
Keep Your Passion Alive
If you’re not passionate, your people are going to find it hard to follow your lead. Do what you can to get your daily dose of inspiration, and if you feel like your passion has left you, pay attention!
When struggling to find the passion in your leadership, take a step back to consider the big picture, what’s changed, and where your new passions lie. This type of inward examination can be difficult to do on your own. For help with this, contact our coaches for a 360 leadership assessment.
Passion can be a powerful tool, motivating those around you, infiltrating other departments, and even spreading to your whole organization.
If you want to reignite the spark in your leadership, check out our free executive coaching eBook on just how powerful making passion a priority can be.