Maybe it’s about time you thought about having some passion in your life. That’s what I would say to the England rugby team after their woeful showing in the recent World Cup in New Zealand. Lower-ranked teams all seemed able to raise their games through strong leadership and sheer passion.
It’s the same set of issues when we think about performance in job roles. There have been many times when I have interviewed people who simply struggled to express why they were interested in a particular vacancy. Similarly, I have come across many senior executives who clearly lacked any passion for what they were doing and simply seemed to be going through the motions. Some had been in their roles too long and become comfortable and predictable, while others were in the wrong business from the start.
The reality is that there will be days when you may be genuinely frustrated in your job and will struggle to raise your game. That’s natural. However, the hope is that there are many more days when you feel a sense of achievement and worth and come home tired but stimulated and satisfied. If you truly lack passion for what you do, if you are not excited by the prospect of going to work, then it’s time to move on and do something else. “No, no,” I hear you say, “serious jobs that pay well are not supposed to be that enjoyable”. If you are starting to think even a little like this, then it really is time to move on and find something that energises you and deserves your passion. Find something you really love doing and you will be hugely successful at it.
With the economic downturn, I am meeting more people who are looking to explore the idea of setting up their own business. There are very few who demonstrate any real passion for what they are about to do despite risking their time, money and in some cases, reputation. A surprising number of experienced senior business employees spend a fair amount of time fantasising about the idea of being their own boss without really being deeply committed to their potential new business opportunity. Their vision is often clouded by the perceived benefits of self-employment sense of freedom, flexible days off and enhanced wealth potential. If you want your new business to have any chance of success you are going to need bucketfuls of passion and some good luck and hard work too.
So, have a good look around your office today. Look at your colleagues and see which ones you reckon are truly passionate about their job then take a long hard look at yourself.
Glenn Steward is a professional business coach and director of The Trading Edge Co