Where passion meets the needs of the world

Last week I came across a situation where I’d like to say nothing stuck to the person, not to his head nor to his hands. It got me thinking about how to teach someone to take ownership of the task at hand. Or far better, how would people do that without pushing them.

Some people think it’s ok to just work. Well, why not. But if you spend one-third of the day at work, why wouldn’t you do something that fills your passion?

It’s an emotion that comes from within you. Others will see how you do your job and your attitude towards it. Drive and motivation will be noticed.

I’ve noticed that people, in general, tend to make some mistakes. If you work in a team with one specialist, most of the tasks tend to be directed to that specific person. It’s easy, it’s fast, it is cost-efficient, but it’s not a durable solution. With these kinds of actions, we forget those junior specialists or hidden gems that would have the passion and most likely would complete the task with better quality, but for the few first times with a bit more time. We, instead of developing and widening our general knowledge level, go with the easy solution.

One might say that I got it wrong, and in these cases, passion hasn’t been noticed.

Sadly, in some places it’s acceptable not to take ownership, but to always come to that “ready-made table” where doing just my part is enough.

I claim that noticing and giving value for passion isn’t high on the ranks in those organizations.

The passion

Are you working with things and tasks that interest you? Are tasks so intriguing or valuable that you’d do those or similar even if you wouldn’t get paid? Or better yet, have you even thought about that?

I have met a lot of people, and far too many are “just working.” I want to challenge every single reader to think about what it is that they want to do. List things that they like to do — just a simple list of things.

Look at your list and evaluate if anything comes close to the job description or hobbies you currently have? If not, should you do something about it? What does it cost for you to make an effort to think about how could you change your life, job description, hobbies towards being able to do more things that you had on your list?

Like Frank Martela states in his book Valonöörit, at worse people must choose between passion and self- expression, but on the best scenario, you can find a job which provides both angles at the same time

People with passion are not necessarily the easiest people to lead. Like Tim Harris said in his blog post “How to lead “passionate” people”, you will look great because your team performs so well, but also these employees are actively looking for guidance and support.

I have found a few tips that work for me when working with passionate people:

  • Talk to people. Take time to get to know them and what makes them tick. Always be honest.
  • Don’t suffocate them. Be available but not on the way.
  • Discuss and agree on shared short and long term vision
  • Enable their path for growing – identify projects or tasks that would help them on their way
  • Never make promises you cannot deliver on.

I admit, starting to know oneself or helping someone towards their journey could be a challenging business. For me, it meant a total change of direction in many fields. It could mean that for you too. If that’s how it’s supposed to be, then that’s best for everyone. Don’t just drift around; begin your journey!

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