Leadership Series (25): How To Discover Your Passion As A Leader. By Victor A. Imhangbe

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Whatever environment and profession you’ve decided to take as career you must have passion for what you’re doing if you want to succeed. Live, breathe, eat and sleep your mission. Nozomi Morgan; defines leadership as “people who make things happen.” He explains further thus: “When I see people who really excel in their career or excel in life, I notice that they have a strong passion for what they do. That passion makes a world of difference”. For example, imagine an employee who has a top-notch education. Imagine that this person has all the right strengths to excel, the knowledge and the experience. Now imagine that this person, though perhaps excessively equipped to handle the job, has no interest and is disengaged at work. Their heart isn’t in it because there is no passion. When you seek leadership position for the fun of it, without the passion to deliver your promises, it means you are toying with people feelings and guilty of crime against humanity.

We can therefore deduce that it’s those with strong feelings or a strong belief that take the biggest risks, step up to the plate, and help make the biggest leaps forward within teams, companies, and organisations. There are uncountable articulate books written by great authors on leadership, there are articulate and extremely intelligent people that have attained leadership position in their community, organisation, religious institutions, corporate entity, political institutions, but the ones that are recorded as successful leaders are the ones that possess the greatest commitments and passion to affect lives positively.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books written about leadership. Anyone could pick them up and skim through them, or even read them closely. Even go to the extent to acquire all the knowledge in the world to be fully equipped to successfully lead, but it won’t make you a good leader when the passion is not there. It’s the passion for the work and the people who collaborate with you that makes the difference.

Passion is a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything that makes ones happy and get fulfillment. In practical terms; passion is difficult to learn like any other leadership skill. If you are not passionate of adding value to people’s life, you don’t see the need to help out, for that is what leadership is all about. You must be very disappointed at the state of infrastructure for instance in your community to the extent of mobilising people of like minds to do something. If you are the type that does not care about how infrastructure has deteriorated in your locality; where public pipe born water is not running, electricity is not functioning, but you are not affected because you can afford to construct independent source of water and electricity; you absolutely have no business bringing yourself forward in any leadership position because leadership at its best is service to the people.

WAYS TO DISCOVER YOUR PASSION AS LEADER

In some instances, personalities and leadership traits often changes as we move from adolescence or teenage years to adulthood. You found out some of the things that use to give you fulfillment’s, excitement and warms feelings are no longer there. The job or profession you crave for; that made you to dedicate all your life for intense study is gradually dying down; your drive is not there anymore. You must have bragged to your parents, friends and admirers that you have all it takes to rule your local community, state government, or your country. Over time you realised you are not cut out for such responsibility anymore because the passion is not there. Contrarily, the expectation of people around you; especially your family is to prepare the ground for you in actualising your dream.

WAYS TO DISCOVER YOUR PASSION AND LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE
If you found yourself in a leadership position and discover the passion has wane, Ashley Wilhite; provide the following Eight Ways to Discover Your Passion and Live a Life You Love.

a. Slow down: When we slow down, we are able to tap into the best version of ourselves, which is most often when we find the answers we’ve been searching for. This might mean practicing yoga, going for daily walks, or setting aside time each day to meditate. Slowing down allows you to quiet the outside voices and listen to yourself.

b. Change your story: We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we deserve. If we can identify our self-limiting stories (I’m not good enough; I don’t deserve to be happy, etc.), then we can begin writing new stories that are grounded in confidence and courage, and map out actions that move us from one to the other.

c. Own your uniqueness: We are here for a reason. No one else has your unique blend of talents, wisdom, strengths, skills, and creativity. We all have something great to offer, and learning to accept and own what makes you unique is crucial to sharing your gifts with the world. Any one that strives to be you will only end up a second best.

d. Cultivate confidence: If we are continually telling ourselves we can’t, then we will never believe we can. There is a chance you may fail, but it will be impossible to succeed if you don’t believe in yourself. You can create affirmations, focus on the things you want, or make a vision board that shows your future success.

e. Find the themes: Recognising the recurring themes in our lives creates a pattern for us to either follow or change. What themes or lessons seem to constantly surface in your life? What are you drawn to again and again? What areas of life seem to be full of discomfort and pain? What areas are full of joy and light? Knowing these will help to discover your passion.

f. Write: Ideas flow more freely when we write without an agenda. New inspiration may appear unexpectedly and it becomes easier to connect the dots. Spend a few minutes of quality time each day with a pen and paper allowing yourself to process your thoughts without influence from the outside world.

g. Focus on the fun: Too often we get wrapped up in the expectations we set for ourselves. We focus on the details and the to-do lists instead of what is most important. What do you love to do? What makes you smile? If money were limitless, what would you be doing today?

h. Push past fear: It’s so seductive to tell ourselves that we’ll go after what we want when we have more experience, more money, or more time, but the truth is, that will never happen. We must identify these excuses as masks for our fear. It’s only when we get clear on our fears and recognises how they are holding us back that we can begin moving forward.

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson; “Passion is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without passion.”

I would like to conclude with this scenario as illustrated by Lee J. Colan: Three workers were crushing rocks side by side on a construction job. When they were asked, “What is your job?” the first worker answered, “My job is to do what I am told for eight hours a day so I can get a check.” The second workers replied, “My job is to crush rocks.” The third worker said, “My job is to build a cathedral.”

The question is, which of these three workers do you think would be the most engaged, most productive and go the extra mile? No doubt only the third person, who understood his job was far greater than just crushing rocks. Our next series will discuss the role play by courage and fearlessness in leadership. Your opinion and feedback is appreciated on the comment column. Do you like the piece? It’s always good to share.

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