If I attend one more event or read one more article that states, “We need to be competitive in a global marketplace”, I may just shoot myself – metaphorically speaking of course. Enough already, we get it - now provide us with a nugget or two on what to do about it. To be fair there are many that are taking the bull by the horns and grappling for answers. In much of what I have been reading there a couple of words that seem to be appearing and reappearing. One could even call them something of a success formula.
Belief and Passion. I’m big on quotes and here’s a couple that nail the premise. “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right,” by Henry Ford. And of course Nelson Mandela’s quote that adorned my e-mail signature for sometime, “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.”
So if you want to make your workplace better, heck if you want to make your life better perhaps it is time to re-discover that passion.
A researcher interviewed 1,500 graduating business school students about their careers: 1,245 said they were in it for the money, 255 were moving on to do something they cared about deeply. Twenty years later 101 of them were millionaires and all but one came from the 255 who had pursued what they love to do. When we are passionate about our work we are deeply engaged and as a result, able to overcome obstacles.
According to Dr. John Ratey in a User’s Guide to the Brain, “Any activity that gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, that makes us feel glad to be alive, can help us care for and feed our brain. Passion heals.”
We say we want creativity and innovation in the workplace and yet we continue to dump on the policies and procedures, micro-manage the how, and basically suck the being out of human being.
So next time you are tempted to rally the troops in another mind numbing 5 page agenda meeting consider getting everyone together and sharing success stories. That’s where the belief part comes into play. If people don’t “see” good things are happening they won’t believe being better is possible, i.e. achieving your goals and targets. And if you don’t believe me, check out this video of Zappos.com’s culture. Selling shoes on-line, really, it may not sound like a very sound business model yet Zappos is experiencing off the charts growth. Proof that passion and belief can make your company’s profits soar and you can have fun in the process.