Five Ways to Connect with Your Beautiful Obsession

Beautiful obsession is the predecessor of greatness.

The Russian dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, considered to be one of the greatest ballet dancers in history, said, “Dancing is my obsession.”

Obsession leads to exceptional.

Obsessed squirrel

Obsessed people are interesting; balanced boring.

Everyone has an obsession. But, not everyone acknowledges it. Don’t tame it. Follow it.

Failure to acknowledge your obsession undermines meaningful contribution and devalues your individuality.


Not all obsessions are useful.

Embrace obsession that results in service to others. I’m obsessed with leadership. Perhaps you’re obsessed with management, getting results, developing relationships, or making money.

Can you use your obsession in service to others? Follow it. Don’t balance it.

Connecting with your beautiful obsession:

  1. If you weren’t worried about losing your job …
  2. Deepest recurring frustrations or regrets.
  3. Recurring topics of conversation.
  4. Persistent interests.
  5. If you could make things better, what would you do?


The more obsessed you are, the more likely you look down on those who don’t share your obsession. What’s wrong with them?

You work to mold others into your image or you just give up on them.

Feelings of superiority – something many leaders encounter – aren’t helpful.

4 ways to be successful with your obsession:

Gather teams of obsessed individuals who:

  1. Speak up passionately and respectfully.
  2. Collaborate, but don’t compromise.
  3. Hold to core concerns, but remain open to alternative methods.
  4. Celebrate diversity. The danger of obsession is devaluing others. The person obsessed with developing people devalues the person obsessed with getting results, for example.

Remain open to other approaches, even though you’re “right.”

It’s more difficult to manage teams of obsessed individuals. But, a team of strong individuals, who share values, mission, and vision, will go further than a group of conformists.

What are the pros and cons of finding and following your obsession?