When Passion Makes Fools of Leaders
Passion drives blinded leaders to repeat self-defeating behaviors.
The danger of passion is it blinds sincere leaders.
Passion for their strengths blinds you to their weaknesses.
If you could just get them doing what you think they should do, their weaknesses or immaturity won’t matter. Sadly, some weaknesses destroy strengths.
- Great vision; crummy planning ability.
- Technical skill; no people skill.
- Strong on toughness; weak on tenderness.
Passion for their potential blinds you to their present passion.
Never get so excited about what you want them to do that you lose sight of what they want to do. You think they’re falling short. They don’t. Help them reach their dream don’t impose yours.
Passion closes minds.
Passion keeps you doing the same ineffective things.
- Repeated frustrations point to foolish passion. Passion-driven frustrations are the result of doing the same ineffective thing with more determination.
- Repeated topics point to foolish passion. How many times will you bring up the same problem before you realize you need a new approach?
- Repeated disappointments point to foolish passion. When will you just say it’s not working?
Repeated frustrations say passion has gone wrong.
Keep passion; change strategy and technique.
Stop circling the same tree! Ask:
- What am I really trying to accomplish? Redefine and clarify success.
- What should I stop? Stopping is harder than starting. You’re falling short because you’re repeating things that don’t work.
- What would new leaders do? Invite new eyes to look at the situation. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. Start small but do something different.
Have you seen passion make fools of leaders?
How can leaders manage their passion?
Dan Very convicting post! After leading in the same area for almost 25 years the tendency to persuade people to do what you want seems to get stronger and easier as your relationship with those you lead can run very deep (generations deep).
I guard against foolish passion by keeping cross-generational influencers/stakeholders in my circle to candidly tell me how things are progressing or not progessing. We don’t always agree but I find leading with both the young and the old at the table has given me insight that has saved me from some very foolish outcomes.
It took me years to find the cross-generational approach you describe! Thanks for sharing your journey. Cheers
Good and timely post, as always, Dan
Have you seen passion make fools of leaders?
Einstein, I am sure, was speaking on a grander scale, but doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is insanity. All the more so if it is not working out well.
Yes, I have seen people passionate champion causes that no one cares about and have little or no value to the organization. And yes, they end up looking foolish. Unfortunately they do not realize that this tarnishes their image for future project support.
How can leaders manage their passion?
Passions is what pulls us into things, and are important in keeping things going when they become challenging. However we, especially as leaders have to be able to walk outside of the passion, and know without a doubt what the “Why” of what we are trying to accomplish. What do we hope to achieve, why is it important, Is it important in the grander scheme of things.
This requires that we make some dis-passionate moments and review the evidence, measure, and adjust what we are doing. This also involves having and/ or using your common sense. And if you don’t have any, having people around you who do.
Sorry for the lack of brevity… passionate about the topic. 🙂
Martina, are you Championing the Cause of WHY??????
I HOPE SO!!!!!!!!!! Yiippeeee You are in such great company let me tell ya!!!!! hehe
If you have not seen Simon Sinek’s presentation on YouTube hope you will. His presentation about understanding people and business is profoundly some of the best information I have ever heard. Think you will experience it the same way I did. His book is OUTSTANDING…Start With Why.
He also mentioned something called efe education for employment
Google it, just takes a couple of seconds. There are such awesome people out there doing such profound things we just have to find them and let their love, honor and commitment to making the world a better place inspire us.
Martina you want to be truly inspired, not trying to say you are not already but check out what these folks are doing to make the world a better place. efe Found them by listening to Simon Sinek
I say the world needs Millions of Why Champions so we can change the world! Simon Sinek, Bob Bruder, Bob Chapman……Why Champions!
Take care Martina, have a why day!
Thanks Scott, but I already listen to them all. 🙂 I will check out the book. I would also add Daniel Pink to your list.
Thanks Martina, have Daniels book paperback and audiobook.
So what did you think of Simons talk on understanding people and business?
Thanks Martina…write “long” anytime you feel the urge.
The “why” question is uncomfortable because sometimes it’s ego that drives us to keep trying when we should let go.
Have a great week.
Well Hells Bells, see this a bit different too! Must be something in the water down here in the Carolinas!!!!!!!!!!! hehe
I see it more like a closed mind limits the options one can go with using the energy one’s passion gives them to get there. The problem in my view is the closed mind, not the passion. It isn’t the vehicle it is the ding-a-ling’s choices steering it.
Isn’t it the mind that steers and the passion that fuels? Think you meant what I am getting at Dan cause you wrote, keep passion; change strategy and technique. Your solution seems to be the same as me so I think we are on the same page. Passion is not the problem, nothing good ever comes from a closed mind. NOTHING!
Back to the Wisdom of AA!!! Imagine that!!!!!! We have a 10th Step that tells us to take a regular inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it. When you are doing that you are checking up on how you are doing constantly. When things go wrong ask, “what was my part in it”? Then if you see your contribution and you were wrong, be honest with yourself, open up the humility and then get straight with others. Take care of little stuff when it happens instead of letting it turn into big stuff.
Just for me, enthusiasm is never foolish but at times stupidity looks a lot like enthusiasm, difference at times can be razor thin. Comes down to the ego involvement, in my opinion.
How to manage passion, work for balance in all thoughts and actions. Get in the flow and go with it with ease. Try to force your will, dis-ease. See how simple that is?
Results not ingredients as the yardstick. Start with why, uncover values and beliefs of those you interact with and if they match, ease. If not dis-ease. That AA thingy is really something where human relations is concerned for anyone willing to pay attention. Not really a whole lot there about not drinking, but a whole lot about getting along with the rest of God’s kids.
Bottom line, only one problem to keep things really simple. A conscious separation from God, and only one Solution, a conscious contact with God. That comes from Chuck C. Richard Chamberlin, the actors, dad. Great thing in my opinion with the Spiritual Program of the 12 Steps is they give human beings the right to define what God means to them unlike other schools of thought. My opinion that should be listed as an inalienable right cause it IS even if people do not want to acknowledge it as such.
Thanks Dan for letting me share.
Keep passion/change strategy implies that the object of our passion is viable…something worth having passion about. I’ve found my self confusing strategy with purpose, for example. It’s too easy for me to make methods the main thing.
Great thoughts, Dan! Great passion brings a laser focus; laser focus blocks out the peripherals! While this can be really beneficial when you’ve created alignment around the object of your passion, sometimes this focus turns into a narrow vision and a blindness to reality. This is a bold post in the age of “follow your passions– wherever they go”!
I especially like your point about getting drunk on people’s strengths. It’s like a bad relationship! “Yeah, he beats me, but gosh the guy can cook!” Delicious food won’t take the pain or color out of those bruises. Quit using the concealer on poor leaders in your organization! If they won’t turn it around, show them the door. Will it hurt your team? Maybe, for a while. But revisit your team in a few months.
Strengthsfinder talks about the balconies and basements of our strengths. On the balconies, we are in the element of our strength; the basements, however, are those negative traits that might grow out of our strengths. Demand teams that recognize and balance the ‘basement’ of their strength and passion.
Thanks Justin. I’m thankful for your consistent contribution to the conversation.
I’ll have to go back and check out StrengthFinders…I don’t recall the balcony/basement metaphor.
Have a great week
A half truth -sometimes leaders need to be shook out of pursuing something in the wrong way at the wrong time. Sometimes great leaders are ready to look foolish now for the long term. In fact is there any truly great leaders who hasn’t looked fooloish for pursuing and banging on about the same thing. Think Winston Churchhill -he looked foolish when he kept on about the dangers from Nazi Germany. Think of Wilberforce foolishly fighting the slave trade. So maybe there’s another side to this?