Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The importance of passion

Came across Ethans latest post about the lessons of leaderhip in surfing and how can you cope with the feelings of learning, the highs and lows, the excitement and depression, yet find it so much harder in other aspects of life. I think it seems so often to come down to passion. If you don't care about something enough you don't register the benefits, or have enough aspiration to want to go the extra mile when the tough times call.

It's often stated that leaders need to keep their eyes on the hills and their feet on the ground. This for me is one of the hardest leadership lessons. People love this phrase, but spend too little time identify what the hill is, what it is about looking up and around that inspires them. So then when they have their feet on the ground they find it hard to call on the inspiration they need.

I was speaking with my colleague in our Frankfurt office today and she spoke of why it's so important that our leadership programmes force people out of their offices once per month. That's exactly what they need to develop as a discipline. One of their participants from a major bank complained about this format until half way through the programme when he confessed he now realised he had been resisting spending time on what he needed most - time out to think about his destination, about what he cared for and to reconnect with his inspiration. Learning this discipline became his major benefit from the programme. It leaves me wondering why this is so underestimated, and helps me understand why Ethan is so willing to go through so much for his surfing and not so willing to put up with London tubes. For more on this take a look at what HBR have to say about reawakening passion, it seems we aren't alone in thinking it's dangerous to live without it.

No comments: