Still got that lovin’ feelin’ as a leader at work? I hope so! “If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, there is no way you can be functioning anywhere near your level of competency—you have to enjoy what you’re doing,” says the late Coach John Wooden about enthusiasm. Another late-great leader Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.”
I reported to a leader years ago who never showed what he was passionate about. It’s as if everyone on the team was begging for him to show some enthusiasm for something he was leading—and we would have all joined him in that pursuit. Your team needs you to have a high-energy level at the “head of the spear” of the business/department. You are like an energy generator. They look to you for the inspiration to keep going, despite the stress of the job. Zeal is contagious; it rubs off on your team—so, let it show! No one wants to work for an unemotional robot. Just smiling, laughing, and being nice to others when there’s work to be done goes a long way. Point out the victories: the great customer reviews, the progress made since last year, the opportunities that are getting you excited these days.
Leaders who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage; it truly will affect your bottom line. John Luther concurs: “Like the chicken and the egg, enthusiasm and success seem to go together. We suspect, however, that enthusiasm comes first. If you hope to succeed at anything in this world, polish up your enthusiasm and hang onto it.” Keep your inner fire burning about why you are staying in this line of work. That cause is most likely bigger than yourself, and it’s your job to pull others toward it with the attraction quality of passion. People will want to jump on your bus. You’ll have so many job applications, you won’t know what to do with them. You won’t have any staff retention issues. And others in your industry will want to visit YOUR business to find out what’s different about you and your culture.
Leaders put their hearts into their business and their business in their hearts. They stay in love with:
- Leading and the awesome opportunities it affords
- The people who do the work
- What their organization produces
- Those who honor them with using their products/services
They avoid attitudes that quench their inner zeal. Here are some enthusiasm-busters:
- Focusing on what’s wrong rather than what’s right
- Doubting the success of a new initiative
- Causing dissension behind the scenes
- Hating change
- Loving the words, ”Yes, but…”
- Restricting those with great potential from going to the top
Effective leaders know that passion is the first step to achievement. They know the wisdom of Confucius: “If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.” And they continue to fuel their vision with enthusiasm. Need help rekindling your fire? Maybe it’s time to hire a coach to help reconnect you to your BIG WHY, and to help you brainstorm ideas for adding life back to your personal and professional life. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat about it. It could just be the shot in the arm you need! Let’s have some fun working together!