On Purpose and Passion

An inspiring quote from an unknown author tells great leaders… Purpose is the reason for your journey. Passion is the fire that lights the way.” In their book, The Power of Moments, Chip Heath and Dan Heath share the research of Morten Hansen in his recent book, Great at Work: How Top Performers Work Less and Accomplish More. They write that Morten distinguished between purpose and passion: Purpose is defined as the sense that you are contributing to others, that your work has broader meaning. Passion is the feeling of excitement or enthusiasm you have about your work.” Morten wanted to know which contributed to greater job performance.

Morten grouped people into categories, e.g., people who were low and high on purpose, and people who were low and high on passion, and asked managers to rank their performance. The following are his findings.

The authors write about this work: “The outcome is clear. Purpose trumps over passion…. Passion is individualistic. It can energize us but also isolate us because my passion isn’t yours. By contrast, purpose is something that people can share. It can knit groups together.” Purpose is the beautiful “why” that inspires and provides direction to the lives of great leaders. Passion is the magnificent fire that lights the journey with excitement, joy and exhilaration. It is the magical blend that can change the world. Howard Schultz captures the magic in their synergy saying: “When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” Live your magnificent life with purpose and passion… every beautiful moment. They are all so fleeting.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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One Response to On Purpose and Passion

  1. Jack Beach says:

    “Leaders” who are low on purpose and passion are people who merely occupy positions of authority; they are not, in fact, leaders. They are myopic and indifferent to what is going on about them and sap the energy of those in their charge. “Leaders” who have passion but no purpose are like missiles lacking a guidance system. They are frenzied and haphazard in their direction—“a sound and fury, signifying nothing,” pointlessly dissipating their and others’ energy and causing the organization to flounder. “Leaders” who have purpose but no passion are unable to engage others and they will falter, lacking the stamina and resilience necessary to persist when the going gets tough—which it always does.

    Leadership is about passion and purpose. Leaders with passion are contagious; they energize the entire organization. Purpose keeps that energy focused in the right direction and provides a sense of meaning. A sense of meaning also creates energy that may not otherwise exist. People do not want their time wasted; they want to feel like what they are doing is important—that it matters and that they matter. Making a difference is a deep seated need in all of us. We are in a constant search for meaning and great leaders tap into that reservoir of energy which deepens commitment, fosters ownership, and redoubles the resolve to succeed.

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