This is Leadership Passion: the only incentive


“When everything is down the only friend that picks you up is passion.”

There is only one nugget that separates leaders from managers. Passion. Passion is that fire churning and burning in your belly. It is obviously a Leader’s incentive to do great things. Officers gain satisfaction and feel complete when a good task is executed. In sales, you may say, when a deal is closed. But true leaders don’t feel complete. They keep on searching and searching to develop the passion to do it again and again and again. That is the incentive.

When people fail on tasks, they may ignore the process but Leaders will think through the process, explore other options, and propose a better way of getting it done right another day. Leaders develop the passion to do more and are never complacent with achievements and are not broken-hearted when they fail. They lookout for the next opportunity.

When a leader comes to town change must happen. The radical version states that when a leader comes to town, somebody got to leave. That somebody include rotten attitude, laziness, empty- heads, people without integrity, bickering, lack of respect for time and people, lack of commitment to tasks, underperformance, etc.

The incentive for Leaders is not the money. It’s about the ardor to change things and the incentive is passion. The reward for hard work is more work as submitted by Winston Churchill that ‘the price for greatness is responsibility.’ With passion, Leaders grow from strength to strength.

There are people in organizations you only see but you will never know them. Be known by your deeds. Passion. Drive performance. Have the two G’s: grits and guts. Exceed set targets. Don’t just achieve them. Innovate. Add to the bottom line. Chart a path and you will be known and not only be seen. Desire to achieve. Dare to do. A thirst to win.

There is a reason why I am biased towards people who like sports or have engaged in sports when building a good team. Why? They understand the spirit of perseverance, teamwork, dying a little, dedication, commitment, determination, can-do-attitude, winning, and passion.

If you couldn’t change anything when you were a follower and you can’t also change anything as you are leading, then you are close to a Christmas song. You make all the noise in the yuletide, climb to the top of the charts during Christmas and you whisk away like the season never counted. Do things and be seen doing things. Sometime back, I took it upon myself to research the characteristics of a good leader.

The Business Minder, for example, gave me the revelation of my life when it said that the number one Characteristic of a good leader is to be passionate about what he or she does. Passion can be developed. Get passion. Grow Passion. Focus on that one thing you really want to do. That one thing should haunt you so you cannot sleep. That one thing should keep you wide awake and that one thing should keep you moving.

So I set off on a road to know more about passion. It’s all about enthusiasm. Put life into what you do, no matter the circumstances. Think it. Buy it. Work with it. Say it. Do it. Achieve it. Pass it on. See no barriers. Hear no heckles. Embrace setbacks. See challenges as part of the process. Passion won’t make you perfect. You’ll make mistakes but you’ll give no excuses for failing. But the greatness is that you’ll stay true to yourself and be courageous to defend your decisions, actions and inactions.

Passionate people only want the right things to be done and this is basically why they are not necessarily liked, arguably. They are mostly acclaimed and accepted when they are gone. In leadership, the best teacher is the one who sees everyone else as a teacher. A Leader learns from everybody.

He listens to be guided and he likes the story of the lion and its cub. Always on track, smart and keeping ears on the ground. Every leader has reasoned through the favourite saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. You can only get going when you have doses of passion. Every leader needs to be tough when situations get rough.

Don’t see trouble. Don’t hear evil. Shine in adversities. Glow in troubles. Love what you do. Love your products and get motivated by results. This is why Leaders believe that hard work of passionate people always pays off. That is the incentive. Work today, and be rewarded later. Remember the ARAR- Authority. Responsibility. Accountability and Reward.

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well” – Martin Luther King Jnr.

This is it. Do what you’ve been mandated to do and always do it well. If you do it well then you perfect your doings. It is not far from saying that practice makes perfect. And if you want to do it well then you have no business repeating same mistakes again and again.

A lot of energy, time, negotiation, competence and resources are required here to enable you build your passion on the job. To the point, you must feel liberated, empowered, reoriented, much more opened and be enlightened to know that becoming passionate is an ingredient to success. It’s not difficult as they say and it’s also not easy as you think. It’s going to be difficult but it’s also going to be easy with relevant preparation and passion.

In the life of human progress, a momentous exuberance and enthusiasm should be awakened just to enable you disregard failure on your way to leadership development. You may have the talent and everything but you need the passion that says to you every time that you don’t have to sit back. Get passion and stand for something.

All that is necessary for malevolent intentions and deeds to succeed is for good men to sit down doing nothing. Those who stand for nothing fall for anything-Alexander Hamilton. Malcolm X also quoted this in several ways. Push the frontiers. Exceed your targets. Stand and be counted. When everything is down the only friend that picks you up is passion. Be passionate for the right reasons. Get up.

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