How Passion Drives Many of the Worst Leadership Moments

Some of the worst leadership moments are driven by too much passion.

Think of passion as energy, drive, direction, and focus. Is it possible to have too much? In my experience, the answer is yes.

Passion says you care. Too much passion suggests you’re out of touch.

10 signs of too much passion:

  1. Intimidation. Too much passion makes you speak first, loudest, and longest. You overwhelm people.
  2. Closed minds. When passion closes your mind, you’re too certain.
  3. Unwillingness to explore potential problems and challenges. Too much passion makes you minimize problems and overestimate abilities.
  4. Responding to problems with, “Just get it done.”
  5. Plugged ears. “I don’t want to hear it.”
  6. Failure to adapt. Too much passion confuses method with mission. It’s necessary to stay on course. But when situations change, it’s useful to adopt new strategies and methods.
  7. Diminishing the importance and value of other people’s passions. Never get so excited about what you want others to do that you lose sight of what they want to do.
  8. Inability to see and understand the strengths and weaknesses of others.
  9. Circling the same black-hole. Passion-driven frustrations are the result of doing the same ineffective things with more determination.
  10. Aiming too high in the short-term. Too much passion won’t settle for incremental progress.

12 solutions for too much passion:

  1. Make room for others. Relax and listen.
  2. Don’t make up your mind so quickly.
  3. Stop making everything about you.
  4. Lower your tone.
  5. Breathe and smile.
  6. Ask, “What would new leaders do if they took over?”
  7. Seek feedback from outsiders.
  8. Ask, “What should I stop doing?” Or, “What isn’t working?”
  9. Clarify what you really want to accomplish.
  10. Keep your short-term definition of success clean and sharp.
  11. Start something small. Repeat.
  12. Do something different.

What is the line between too much passion and too little passion?

When have you seen too much passion become a problem for leaders?

Added resource: Video on too much passion for Ken Blanchard: (My first online video ever.)