This isn’t a hypothetical question. Having passion is a very real soft skill which successful leaders have and truly influences people. Even if you are not yet in the leadership role you have your sights on, if you have mentored just one person in your career, you have made an impact on them for one reason, you have shown them your purpose in that company and this has motivated them to do their best and what I like to call “to be your best customer”.
That is how synergies are made and business is run: when people get you and know your WHY on a human level.
Do you have a Purpose?
You must if you plan on moving to a new leadership role. Passion and Purpose go hand-in-hand actually. If you wore a sign on your back and waltzed into work each day, it should read in big read letters:
“I’m the <blank> Guru at my firm. I’m the one people come to for <blank>. The one thing that gets me excited to come to work each day is <blank>. “
.Now take a step back and ask yourself: “What is my <blank>?”
Everyone has a purpose, it just can’t be the obvious: to make more money.
Because money doesn’t inspire people. Money doesn’t even inspire you, although you may think it does. I know women who have walked away from six figure incomes because it didn’t suit their personal life. A purpose must be the first thing you want to talk about when meeting someone for the first time. It’s the casual chit-chat you make when you run into someone in the hallway and they ask: “So what have you been up to?”
Should you feel that you don’t have a purpose at your company and feel somewhat in a rut, the good news is we have all been there. Look for gaps in your function or in another area where you can fill a void. Something you know if given the opportunity, would make you shine. Look at the LinkedIn Profiles of people you admire. What is it about their role that attracts you in the first place? Their purpose, may be your purpose too!
Make your purpose really specific, not general.
Here’s an example using my own career. I’m an IT executive on Wall street but I can’t walk around saying that because it’s too broad and people will think: “So what?” My expertise however is in Business Intelligence and so if there were a sign on my back it would read: “I’m the Business Intelligence guru. Hear me roar”. Here on In Our Shoes, I’m the Gutsy Career Guru. Roaring is actually a suitable way of putting it actually. If your work moves you to want to talk about it often, then you are letting your passions shine through.
When your passion shines through, guess what? It inspires people enough to want to work with and for you.
This moves everyone around you to want to be your best customer. Now all of a sudden, you’re not just doing a job. You’re the guru there that knows about XYZ better than anyone else in that company. Your success equation now is:
Passion = Purpose = Influence
With love and lots of gutsiness,