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FC Book Club – It’s About Passion II

As Charles says, passion is a strong undercurrent throughout Authentic Leadership. In one key passage (pp. 36-37), Bill George connects passion and purpose:

As Charles says, passion is a strong undercurrent throughout Authentic Leadership. In one key passage (pp. 36-37), Bill George connects passion and purpose:

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Many leaders search for years, even decades, to find the purpose for their leadership. It is relatively easy to state your purpose early in life, but much harder to develop passion for it. Passion for your purpose comes when you are highly motivated by your work because you believe in its intrinsic worth, and you can use your abilities to maximum effect.

If your early career experiences do not inspire you, then it is wise to continue your search in a different venue, job, or company where you can find passion for your work. After all, life goes by quickly and you don’t want to spend your time sleepwalking through life.

Not to be overly snarky, but it’s probably relatively easy to find passion and purpose when you work for a healthcare-related company whose goal is, in the end, saving people’s lives. George recalls several instances in which Medtronic brought in patients who were treated using their technology. Those customer stories were clearly inspirational — and motivational. That’s pretty powerful.

But even if all of our jobs don’t necessarily save people’s lives, can every role have purpose and passion behind it? In Beans, the owners of an independent coffee shop find their higher callings in cups of coffee. In fact, their passion goes beyond coffee — and embraces conversation and creating community.

“Generating passion in your customers begins with teaching it every day,” says shop owner Jack Hartman. “When you totally love what you do, it’s just natural that your customers will love it, too.”

It’s true. I think we’ve all had experiences when we’ve encountered someone who was clearly passionate about what they do. At Fast Company, we do more than publish a magazine. We help people develop ideas, learn skills, and solve problems. We help readers and leaders improve their careers, companies, and business communities.

As a journalist, that’s a gift. And I know it makes my job more fun knowing we have some impact on people’s work lives. In your work, what aspects of your job or your company’s products and services help improve people’s lives? What are you passionate about?