Are YOU a Passionate Leader? Creating and Inspiring Your Followership
Updated August 2, 2013
In this post, I want to look at why passion is a key ingredient of a leader’s effectiveness and success. Having a broad repertoire of leadership styles is important if we’re to meet the needs of our followers.
One specific area that’s vital in our personal leadership is organizational “know-how.” This refers to the small “P” politics (how work gets done), a good understanding of the organization, and the big picture of where it’s moving and the key external influences affecting it. However, to achieve a high level of performance as a leader, it’s next to impossible if we don’t have a passion for a cause that relies on the collaborative efforts of people.
When we speak of “walls” that inhibit collaboration, we’re referring typically to the functional silos that separate people–physically and emotionally. At a deeper level, we may even be referring to the unconscious, shared assumptions that contribute to these walls.
But there’s another level to this, and that’s the personal one: what we perceive as the safe and familiar routines with which we’re accustomed. Breaking through our personal barriers to take that leap of faith to openness, inquiry and acceptance will lead to new insights and practices.
To propel an organization forward, it’s not structure and process that are key. Rather, it’s the core values and purpose of the organization. As passionate leaders, our role is to inspire and enroll our co-workers by sharing our passions and visions. What’s most compelling about this is that it has nothing to do with compliance. Instead, people feel part of a cause, but at the same time they are free to choose.
This is an extremely important leadership lesson: the subtle yet distinct shift from compliance to enrollment. But to achieve this requires a very different approach to leadership. Having a burning passion is a prerequisite to instilling a sense of mission among your followers.
Take some time to reflect upon the following questions as you proceed on your own leadership journey:
1) When am I most energized?
2) How could I spend more time in this “state?”
3) How can I infect my followers, superiors and peers with my energy and enthusiasm?
4) When will I take the first step to live my passion?
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