8: Pursuing Your Passion – Do What You Love, Love What You Do

For the many people including leaders that are stuck in a job they don’t love, the lack of passion cannot be hidden. I experienced this very thing in my own career.

My baseball cap changed my life!
My baseball cap changed my life!

I grew to the place– or I should say I descended to the place where I lacked the passion for my job.  I’ll never forget

one day when I was putting on a baseball cap in my garage, made by the folks at “Life is Good.”    Sewn inside the cap are these words, which come into view when you place the cap on your head: do what you like, like what you do.  I read those words and said to myself, “I am doing neither.”   It was time for a change.  That baseball cap changed my life.

What we cover in today’s Podcast show:

  • The Passion timeline
  • Nothing Trumps Passion
  • Passion Pirañas
  • Seven Deadly Motives
  • How do get your groove back
  • How to know if it is time to move on
  • Exercise to check your passion
My new book "The Power of Passion in Leadership" is available in print, ebook, and audio book format!
My new book “The Power of Passion in Leadership” is available in print, ebook, and audio book format!

People follow people of passion. I have observed for years that if you light yourself on fire, people will come to watch you burn.   Stephen Jobs is a great example of that.  It does not matter if you are an Apple person or a PC user; you have to admire his passion.  He changed five massive industries including music, personal computers, phones, animation and mobile computing. Steve Jobs was notoriously tough to work with, but he had passion for elegant devices that have covered the globe.  In my recent trip to China I saw the biggest Apples stores ever and everyone seemed to have an iPhone and iPad.

Back in the early days of Apple, Jobs inspired their advertisers to take a different path than everyone else in selling their very unique computers.  He was not just pushing computers, he had a passion to change the world.  He helped create the famous ad campaign, “Here’s to the crazy ones!”

Apple ad in 1997 – Here’s to the crazy ones

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Inc.

Leadership can wear you out.  I hate to strip away the varnish on this and speak the truth, but it is tough being the tip of the spear.  The higher you go in leadership, the more eyes you have on you, and the more people there are to drain you.   There are so many things around you that can eat away at your passion like deadly piranhas. Proverbs 4:23 say’s it well, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  If we lose our heart we lose our leadership credibility.  Here are some of the big passion piranhas I have experienced and/or seen in fellow leaders that robbed them of their passion:

Passion Pirañas

o Prolonged discouragement
o Opposition to your vision
o Workaholism
o Lack of real vacations
o Working way outside of your gifting
o Unrealistic expectations of others
o Unrealistic expectations of yourself
o Unending marriage problems in the leader’s marriage
o Constant financial pressure
o A pattern of failure in leadership
o Dysfunctional people
o Unhealthy leadership team
o Lack of a leadership team to share the load
o Constant unresolved staff conflict
o Lack of respect for your leaders above you
o Hidden moral failure
o Neglect of your relationship with God

Seven Deadly Motives for Staying in a Job Past Your Passion

Seven deadly motives for hanging on to position when your passion is gone:

* Power
* Prestige
* Position
* Popularity
* Pride
* Personal Gain
* Paycheck..

You really have two options:  Get your groove back or move on….

How to Get Your Groove Back

Where do I find passion if I don’t have it?  How do I get my groove back?

·      Get around people who are passionate.
·      Ask your board or your boss to reconfigure you job responsibilities.
·      Have a gut check about what you are pursuing and what you really love.
·      Get some counseling or therapy.
·      Go for advanced training in your field.
·      Go back to school on the side for an advanced degree.
·      Take a sabbatical to rediscover your heart.
·      Ask God to revive your heart. Spend more time with Him.
·      Hire consultants to help you with staff problems.
·      Hire consultants to help turn around your failure.
·      Feed your heart with great books and seminars.
·      Get back out on the front lines from time to time.
·      Seek personal renewal in your relationship with God.

How to know if it’s time to leave

o Your job is important but it bores you.
o Your job is strategic but you no longer have the heart for it.
o Seventy five percent of your work is outside your sweet spot.
o Everything on the edges of your job is what pulls your heart.
o The juice is no longer worth the squeeze.  You’re worn out.
o You have lost faith in those above you in leadership.
o Your team has lost faith in your leadership.
o Better opportunities are pulling you out.
o You have lost your calling for this position.
o God clearly leads you to move on.
o Your heart has left the building.

 

My Passion Exercise

Look at these lists above

  1. How many of these passion pirañas are robbing you?
  2. Check your motives for staying at your job and position
  3. Look at the list of reasons to leave – can you relate to them?

Books of the Show That I recommend on Passion

48 Days to the Job Your Love – Dan Miller and Crush It – Gary Vaynewchuk

Quotes of the Show

Howie Hendricks quotes:

  • Your career is what you’re paid to do; your calling is what you’re made to do.
  • My fear is not that you will fail, but that you will succeed in doing the wrong thing.

Steve Jobs quotes:

  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do the work you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs
  • “And the most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

 

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