How to Make Passion Convincing

Vision creates emotional passion. Passion, on the other hand, doesn’t create vision.

Expressing emotional passion with those who don’t share your vision creates skeptics not followers.

Emotional passion won’t get people on board:

I just landed in Philadelphia Airport from Williamsport, PA. The commuter flight takes about fifty minutes. I watched the pilot walk through the terminal and board the plane. I’m not boarding the plane if the pilot shows emotional passion.

I hope he’s passionate about flying, safety, and customer service. But I don’t want to see passion expressed by emotion, that’s scary.

Getting people on board:

I don’t want emotional passion; I want steady focus. Express passion with focus. Cool, steady focus gets me on board. Emotional passion makes me run.

Emotional passion without focus won’t convince. Steadiness makes you trustworthy; emotion isn’t steady. Persistent focus establishes steadiness.

Your focus convinces others:

  1. Focus on problems. Coolly and confidently identify harsh realities. You can’t be trusted if you can’t state the brutal facts.
  2. Focus on opportunities and solutions. Terrible problems present terrific opportunities.
  3. Focus on developing people; they create and execute solutions. Problems become opportunities when people get on board. Determine the skills, beliefs and attitudes your team needs to solve your perplexing problem.
  4. Focus on getting people to do the next best thing, not the perfect thing.
  5. Focus on learning while you go. Once you emotionally invest in strategies and methods you start justifying rather than learning. Learning occurs when things fail or fall short. You can’t learn if you can’t fail.

Your passion is an unconvincing day-dream until it inspires focus. You don’t need more passion; you need more focus. Passion is fun. Focus is work.

What key points of focus help leaders and followers pursue and sustain vision?


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