Archive for August, 2014

Building a High Performance Culture Part XIII

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Words that Work: Passion

In this thirteenth post on building a high performance culture I want to put in the “words that work” column a word that is found within high achievers in any endeavor: passion.

More about passion in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words that work from past posts; these must consistently be woven into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Passion is defined as: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. Following are five thoughts on passion:

1. High performing cultures have passionate people, driven to excel by a meaningful mission, compelling vision and the desire to make a difference.

2. Passion is different than both drive and energy. One can have both these essential traits, but without an enthusiasm for the work at hand, see their drive and energy go largely wasted. The quality of the culture plays a big part in drawing passion out.

3. Passionate people aren’t necessarily loud or giddy; their enthusiasm is more likely to show up in their attitude, work ethic, team play and results.

4. Passionate people are normally lower maintenance employees as they don’t require the coddling or continual pep talks the indifferent demand just to get moving. This reduces distractions within your culture, and helps preserve morale.

5. Customers feel an employee’s passion, and it greatly elevates the customer’s experience and earns their loyalty.

6. A poor leader can temper or extinguish a passionate person’s zeal with micromanagement, by surrounding him or her with laggards, or by failing to give the recognition one has earned and deserves. This demonstrates again the importance of a leader taking his or her role as chief architect and primary influencer of the culture very seriously.