Passion is Everything

Now before you completely ignore this blog article because of the cheesy title, hear me out.  For some reason, for the last few days, I have been having a hard time thinking of something to blog about.  I could sit down and make something up, but guess what tends to happen when I try to do that?  It takes me for-ev-er (<<Sandlot, anyone?) to write it.  When I actually have an idea that I’m excited about, though, it barely takes me any time to write an article.  Well something dawned on me the other day when I started thinking about this: I bet it’s the same with any kind of work, not just writing.

When you are excited about doing something, and you really get “in the zone” doing it, several things tend to happen.  First, you don’t feel like you’re working.  You’re not really “trying,” you’re just kind of doing your thing.  Another thing that happens is that you lose your sense of time.  Oftentimes you’ll notice that the time has gone by really quickly when you actually do check the clock.  Two hours can feel like twenty minutes.  Usually, though, if you’re really excited about what you’re doing, it will take you a much shorter amount of time to finish a task than it would have taken if you were bored by it and were forcing yourself to do it.  Your quality of work is also going to be affected by how passionate you were about it as well.  If you’re bored with what you’re doing, you would probably produce mediocre work, maybe good work (on a really good day).  But you will produce high quality work when you were really into what you were doing.

Something I find really interesting about this principle is that you can’t trick yourself into being passionate about something.  At least I can’t.  If I find something really uninteresting, I can’t all of a sudden pretend that I think it’s interesting in order to get the task done faster.  I can try, but it will still drag on and on.  So my mind naturally goes to this question: how does this apply to managing people?

The role of a manager is to get the people who work under them to do quality work for the business.  And the best way to do that is to get them genuinely passionate about it.  Because people can’t fake being excited about something, you have to get to know each employee, and try to figure out a way to get them interested in what your company is doing on a personal level.  If you can do this successfully, your employees will want to come to work every day, and when they’re there they will be highly productive.

I’m saying all of this like it’s an easy task, but it isn’t by any means.  I think it would be really tough to try to achieve this from a manager’s standpoint.  But in an ideal business, all of the employees would be invested and passionate about the work they’re doing.  That’s definitely something that should be strived for.  When people are doing work that doesn’t feel like work, they are happier and less stressed.  They think positively about the company they’re working for, and feel a strong sense of loyalty to it.  If you’re in a managerial role, I would challenge you to try to get your employees genuinely excited about the work they are doing.  I’d be willing to bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.