Former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, said, “People with passion can change the world.” A bold statement for sure, but perhaps you’re not looking to change the world. Perhaps you’re just looking to create a more successful business. Then does passion really matter? In short, yes – and quite a bit at that.
What is passion? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, passion is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”
Do your team members have a passion for their work? More importantly, do you?
Consultants who study high-performance organizations and high achievers (conspicuously raising my hand) will tell you that passion and success go hand-in-hand. It’s no great secret that many folks have little to no passion for their work. They consider their work little more than a paycheck and their No. 1 goal is getting through the week to cash out and receive it.
As the above quote suggests from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi suggests, Mr. Lombardi was quite serious about passion and enthusiasm with his players. He knew that passionate, enthusiastic players would possess the magnetism to drive each other to give it their best to succeed. This same contagious “magnetic effect” is also true in the workplace and, when properly managed, can power your business to new levels of success.
Sadly, the average business typically has many more unmotivated, unenthusiastic employees. Often poor management is the root cause of the problem with uninspired managers demotivating team members with their disengaging behaviors and lack of on-the-job enthusiasm. However, a poor or weak manager should be no excuse for each employee’s personal responsibility in delivering excellence (PRIDE) on the job.
“Put Some Zip In Your Do Da!” is one of my favorite Pinnacle Performance maxims and for good reason… it is the fuel of high performance! We all have that daily “Do Da” we do, but all too often there’s little zip in it.
The fact is that positive attracts positive in all we do. A positive, upbeat attitude typically influences a similar positive response in your customers, co-workers, and everyone else you interact with. Conversely, a negative or poor attitude repels, typically influencing a similar negative response from others.
High achievers in sales or customer service demonstrate zip with their upbeat friendly tonality, never sounding bored or tired. This is especially important on phone interactions where only 30% of communication is what you say (content) and 70% is how you say it (tonality). Simply put, to engage callers (and turn more into customers) you must be engaging.
Your outward appearance also says a lot about your “Do Da.” High level politicians up to the President of the United States are coached on body language and how to present themselves to the public because we the people expect leaders to look a certain way.
Leaders (that people want to follow) and successful folks in general are not those that look like they’re carrying a heavy burden and dragging themselves along day after day. We’ve all seen those sleep-walking Sally’s at work. To quote Aerosmith, their “get up and go must have got up and went.” A sweet emotion interacting with these folks it certainly is not.
For your selling/customer-service/ life purposes, recognize that people naturally gravitate toward people who are successful and conversely avoid failure at all costs. High-achievers project zip with an energetic pep in their step, good posture and a can-do demeanor that delivers a message of confidence and success.
Test Your Passion
It’s not hard to assess your passion and/or those of your co-workers on the job. Refer back to that opening definition: “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” Is that how you feel about your work?
Passion is all about engagement. Those with true passion are “fired up” for and at their job. They are positive, look forward to their work, have high energy, and their time there seems to fly by. Those with little to no passion are negative, dread Monday mornings, bring no energy to their work, and their on-the-job time seems to crawl by as they count the minutes until they can run away from it.
Obviously, one of these folks is far more productive than the other.
It’s not about your products or service…
As I advise my many market-leading clients in the tire/auto service industry, a successful (high-achiever) employee’s passion is rarely, if ever, tires or working in a tire/auto service business for that matter. However, they must have a passion for customer service, a passion to serve, a passion to help others, and above all, a passion to succeed. This applies to any type of business.
You may be thinking, “My work is not special. I’m only a salesperson, a customer service rep, another worker bee. What do I have to be passionate about?”
How About Being the Best at What You Do?
You may not have a deep-seated personal passion for the products and/or services that your business sells, and that’s okay. You should, however, have a passion for your profession and to be the very best you can be in your role.
As a sales or customer service representative, that means having a passion for selling and helping potential customers purchase your products or services, providing the best in customer service and exceeding expectations.
If you don’t have a passion for being the best at what you do where you are currently doing it, then you’re probably in the wrong job and positioned for failure or, at best, mediocrity. In other words, if you can’t do your job with passion then you probably shouldn’t do it all.
Face the fact that you’ll never achieve the level of success you are capable of achieving without true passion – you are costing yourself and your business – and move on. For when you follow your passion, success will follow you.