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The Passionate, Empathic Leader

passionate leaders are contagious

Inspirational leaders are passionate, bold thinkers. They do not think in terms of “if” they can achieve their goal; they think in terms of “how” they can achieve their goal. When you are working with someone who displays a passionate energy for what they believe in, the feeling is extremely contagious. Think about it – someone, somewhere introduced the idea of a slinky as a toy, a rock as a pet, and let us not forget the Big Mouth singing Billy Bass - and each one became wildly successful.

passionate leaders create passion in others

This passionate, contagious energy works not only for the development of a product or fulfillment of the company mission, but truly great leaders possess an energy made up of integrity and commitment to develop others. This creates a chain affect causing those people around them to believe that they can achieve anything as well, and the more people that are engaged in their job and enthusiastic about what they are working to accomplish, the stronger and healthier the organization will be.

"People with great passion can make the impossible happen." - Darshana Sundaresan

successful leaders have passion

“Successful leaders don’t have a job – they have a passion, and they know how to get others rallied around those same passions” writes Regina Amundson in a LinkedIn article she authored. “It’s the passionate people that take the biggest risks, step up to the plate, and help make the biggest leaps forward within teams, companies, and organizations.”

start the day with inspiration

Every great leader I know has a morning routine to start their day off right. This morning routine is different for everyone. My routine involves spiritual readings, a chapter of some motivational personal development book, prayer, and 15 minutes of exercise. Usually at some point during the day, I stop and do another 15 minutes of exercise and read some inspirational quotes or prayers. If I am having a harder time getting motivated, I will watch some Youtube videos of my favorite motivational speakers.

people just don't want to work any more

I constantly hear people say, “if I could only hire the right people” or “people don’t want to work anymore”. From the perspective of a passionate leader, what do you think is wrong with this statement? First of all, any leader who makes such statements is not taking responsibility for the lack of attracting talent. Secondly, they are not passionately focused on solving the problem. I actually heard someone in a networking event announce that her company was “still looking for a receptionist. People just don’t want to work anymore. At this point, we are so desperate, that we will take a warm body.”

which company would you want to work for?

A few days later, I was reading through my email and saw an employment ad for a receptionist. The headline made me curious – “Opportunity for a Passionate, Creative individual who craves to be a Difference Maker to join our Team as a Receptionist”. I clicked and read further. The description talked about those core values their employees have and how every employee must commit to the company’s mission and vision. “Click here for an interview to see if we might be a good fit for each other.” For a brief second, I wanted to click for an interview because could feel the passionate energy all through the employment ad. This is a company that clearly has a passionate leader and values and mentors their employees. Which company would you want to interview for?

"A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position." - John C. Maxwell

it's the leadership

When a company is struggling with employee retention, negative workplace culture or even getting people to apply for open positions, the problem is NOT with the people, it’s with the leadership. When we create the right environment, we will attract the right people. If we create the wrong environment, we get unmotivated applicants that do the bare minimum and that’s if they show up at all.

become empathetic

How do we create the right workplace environment? Use passionate, positive energy in a way that shows others that we really care about them as a human being – not just the output or results they produce. We become empathetic. We take an interest in our employees by showing them how much they are valued. We create a safe place to be vulnerable in; a place they can ask for help or direction when they feel challenged. What typically happens when an employee is underperforming? They are called in to the office. They are told that they are underperforming, and that if they don’t get their numbers up that they soon may not have a job.

“If you're asking how to create a more empathetic workplace, you're already way ahead of everybody else.” - Daniel Lubetzky, Founder of KIND

is your company's leadership unapproachable?

The majority of businesses today lack empathy for their employees. Last month, I had a discussion with a VP of a large Dallas nonprofit. She told me that the majority of their employees did not know their mission and that the CEO was a woman that rarely smiled, almost never greeted people but just walked by, and answered in short, direct statements when asked questions. She is basically unapproachable and intimidating. This nonprofit’s mission was something to the effect of “Great Leaders who build Thriving Communities”. It really is ironic. I see similar scenarios in the majority of businesses that I talk with every single week. What is wrong with this picture? Lack of passion and empathy, that’s what!

what if...?

What if we ask our employees what is going on? What if we ask them how you can help? What if we ask them what they need to be able to do their job better? What if we communicate and demonstrate our company’s mission and vision? What if everyone practiced high value core values?

a leader and a manager?

Managers blame the people.

Leaders take responsibility and then find a way to develop the people.

Many years my friend, many years....

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