Friday, November 9, 2012

Success–Not Without Passion

When I am asked to partner with individuals and organizations, there are a few things that I need to see in order for me to collaborate with them.

They have to have a strong vision, mission and sense of purpose, a well-defined expression of their view of the world and their response to a need or opportunity in the world

They have to have a strategic plan with measurable outcomes.  If they don’t know where they’re going, then there is no point in setting out in the first place.

Lewis Carroll expressed it well.

In addition to a plan, they have to have tactical roadmaps that translate strategic plans into measurable goals and milestones.

They have to exhibit a propensity for intelligent execution.  The best laid plans without smart execution are just hopes and dreams.  As some say in business, there is nothing the world loves more than to snack on people’s unrealized dreams, as expressed humorously with this poster.

It’s all classic, business 101 stuff.

There is nothing magic here.

But all things being equal, there are two things important to me that separate those who just have great ideas from those who convert their ideas into reality.

One is an appropriate balance of hubris and humility – the ability to learn from others and the acknowledgement that they don’t know it all while at the same time not being a doormat.

The other is a sense of passion – that they are willing to do whatever it takes to translate vision into success.

The latter is really important to me.

Many times when people come to me for help, I may say “no” or “maybe” even when the opportunity looks very appealing.

It’s not because I don’t believe in the opportunity.

It’s because I want to see how badly they want it.

I want to see how they respond to “no”.

Do they say “Ok” and walk away with their tail between their legs?

Or do they say “I don’t accept no.  Here’s why I believe that we need to do this.”

If their passion is not burning hot enough to make their dream a reality, how do I know that they will do what it takes, especially when times get tough?

It’s when times get tough that appropriate strategy, strong plans, intelligence, sharp execution, market opportunity and luck may not be enough.

It’s during those times that passion may save the day, providing the fuel that allows one to persevere through adversity.

It may save your business.

It may save your Life.

As Nelson Mandela once said:

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

But make sure one balances passion with intelligence, otherwise one ends up proving the wrong side of Francois de La Rochefoucauld’s belief when he said:

Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men, and makes the biggest idiots clever.

Be passionate about your business and your Life.

A Life well-lived demands nothing less.

Create a great day – because merely having one is too passive an experience.

In service and servanthood,


No comments:

Post a Comment