Passionate leaders and organizations have one thing in common…they have an idea, hope, dream or aspiration that has grabbed hold of them and won’t let go. But if you’re like many of the leaders I talk with on a daily basis, you don’t consider yourself passionate because you erroneously think being passionate is synonymous with being the Cheerleader In Chief.
There is good news. There are plenty of leaders who are passionate and don’t wave their arms, pound the desk and give eloquent and stirring speeches. Passionate leaders do have four key characteristics in common however, and when they are in place they point to that which makes the leader come alive. These four key characteristics all begin with the letter C. They are:
Curiosity: They love learning and are willing to overturn rocks to learn and see what’s possible. Their curiosity propels them to read and learn as much as they can, not out of obligation, but out of a desire to learn and grow.
Courage: They are willing to challenge their beliefs and assumptions as well as those around them. They’re not arrogant know it all types, but they do strive to be experts in their fields. They seek out divergent opinions and willingly challenge themselves to push the boundaries of what’s known.
Commitment: Passionate leaders are committed to excellence and apply what they’ve learned quickly. They do so because they love what they do and are willing to apply the best thinking to get the very best result.
Community: Passionate leaders build communities of like minded co-collaborators who also embrace curiosity, courage and commitment. They create informal and formal networks where best practices are shared and the learning and growing process is accelerated.
Here’s my personal example: The idea of converting human potential into accelerated business results has grabbed hold of me and won’t let go. I love the idea of helping leaders see their job as primarily one of helping employees flourish professionally. If leaders do that, they will have flourishing customer relationships and in turn flourishing business performance.That’s something that propels me out of bed in the morning.
If you want to know what you are passionate about there are four key questions you have to answer.
1. What do you love doing?
2. What part of your work is the most rewarding?
3. What can you get lost doing because you enjoy it so much?
4. What’s the one idea hope, dream or aspiration that’s grabbed hold of you and will not let go?
After answering these questions don’t be surprised if you become the Cheerleader in Chief.