How to Overcome the Perils of Caring Deeply

volume knob

The things you deeply care about
make you dangerous and close-minded.

Yesterday, I sat beside a coach who said, “I’m a better coach if I don’t care about the topic of a coaching session.”

When you care deeply:

  1. Something’s “wrong” with those who don’t care.
  2. Your methods are “right.”
  3. Others need fixed.
  4. Impatience replaces patience.
  5. Objectivity slips out the door.

Everyone is dangerous somewhere:

  1. Parents who “know” their children are special.
  2. Managers consumed with efficiency.
  3. Leaders driven by moving forward.
  4. Colleagues dominated by the need to succeed.
  5. Conductors and musicians obsessed with that perfect sound.

A musician said, “I hate how my guitar sounds through those speakers. Does anyone else notice? No. But I know.”

Stop caring? No!

Organizations move toward mediocrity when they silence those who care deeply.

 Pursue your passion or accept irrelevance.

Every initiative, project, department, and product needs a champion who obsessively cares. CEO’s become champions of average when they don’t freakishly care for their organizations.

Excellence is a function of caring deeply.

The real dangers of caring deeply:

  1. Embarrassed because you care.
  2. Standing aloof from evaluation and correction.
  3. Losing sight of the big picture.
  4. Intolerance.
  5. Arrogance.
  6. Refusing to listen.
  7. Not playing well with others.

Leaders and caring deeply:

  1. Pour gas on flames of passion. Foolish leaders try to control passion in others. A small drop of water from a leader cools and discourages those with passion.
  2. Teach organizations the power and difficulty of passionate champions.
  3. Expect those who care deeply to care deeply for others. Rudeness isn’t acceptable.
  4. Develop cultures where excellence is pursued. Celebrate progress, but, at the same time, reach higher.
  5. Be prepared for “hurt” feelings. Those who care less get their feelings hurt by those who care more, especially when those who care more are rude.

Accept the challenge and opportunity of leading and releasing those who care deeply.

What are the dangers of caring deeply? Is it possible to care too much?

How can leaders fuel fires without destroying relationships?

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