People often laugh when I ask them if they are passionate about the work they do. Many find it hard to believe anyone can be passionate about work. How can anyone “Love” what they do unless they are at the beach each all day or flying around the globe in a high powered job.
I used to think about the idea of “loving what I did” every day. After years of working in the corporate world I suddenly realised my place of employment wasn’t inspiring me. Until 2006 I had always worked for others. I found that over time, my expectations from my work diminished – I was simply ticking boxes. It was all too easy and uninspiring. My focus was on working to make money, not working to enjoy the work I do.
One day I asked myself the question: “Am I passionate about the work I am doing?”
The answer was a resounding NO, so I decided the best move I could make was to create a work life where I felt challenged, stimulated and empowered at each step of the way. For me this step was by starting my own consulting, training and coaching service geared towards helping people give of themselves and ultimately learn how to love what they do.
For me success suddenly wasn’t about money, promotions and that new car – it came from the journey of educating and empowering other people. I saw great power in connecting with people – breaking down basic ideas of communication, body language, dealing with conflict and planning.
I enjoy the whole journey when I am teaching and coaching people in any size organisation. Right from the start, identifying ideas of what can be improved through to formulating programs and processes on making it happen – working out the best way to put programs in place then looking back to evaluate our success at the end. It’s been a very rewarding journey so far.
It is vital as we lead our organisations that we look to those around us, and ensure that each member of our team (executive or board) is motivated in their work. If not, how can we change this?
Be the one to ask the questions: “Are you passionate about the work you are doing?” or “How can I help you become more passionate?”
Of course you may get some responses geared around money and other things (not to be ignored if it is causing friction), but you should encourage a deeper reflection of how they want to work. Your employees will thank you for challenging them to think about what they do beyond money and deadlines, and for thinking about their work from a more personal perspective.
This question will not only help your employees and organisation to grow – but it will build respect and allow you to see areas you can improve your workplace, or perhaps build broader roles that will suit your team. Challenge yourself to ask questions every step of the way!
Robert Crowe is a Corporate Skills Coach and Managing Director of Amplify Me Pty Ltd