Don’t go breaking my heart!

It’s February and love is in the air – well so say the Valentine associated businesses of confectionery, flowers, restaurants, cards, engagement rings etc. Which got me thinking about the people who tell me how much they love their jobs – be that in person, a biography, an interview, article, or LinkedIn post.

I’m not talking about taking pride in their work or caring about what they do or their purpose but about being passionate for what they do, where they do and who they do it with.

For an SME business owner, passion is a vital ingredient for success, but applied in the wrong quantities, in the wrong mix, at the wrong time, it can break not only the heart but the results.

In fact, passion should carry a wealth warning.

If you don’t have passion for the business who is going to drive it forward, and if you have too much passion, there’s not only a risk to the business but to yourself and those around you.

For those in creative sectors it’s hard not to be passionate about being passionate, and it’s certainly more appealing than dealing with the mundane demands of the business such as cash flow and the P&L.

Effective leadership requires self-awareness particularly when it comes to engaging both brain and heart.

Self-awareness helps you avoid recruiting in your own likeness, it helps you secure complementary skills not duplicated skills and it appreciates the value add of employee diversity and inclusion. It also helps you remember to reward performance not perceived passion.

Passion is not just the domain of brands and marketing. Passion stops you playing it safe, it pushes boundaries and increases expectations, engagement, and exposure.

Passion gets you through the start-up and scale upscale stages of your business, as well as bad days at the office.

But passion should carry a wealth warning because it can:

  • Stop you getting your head out of what you are doing.
  • Cloud your judgment.
  • Limit your decision making.
  • Get you too involved with personalities and dramas.
  • Give priority to the process rather than the result.
  • Overwhelmed those around you.
  • Increase the levels of emotion in a business.
  • Stop you going home on time.
  • Interrupt your family events, weekends, and holidays.
  • Distract you from what pays the bills.
  • Stop you delegating.
  • Stop you stopping.
  • Stop you starting.
  • Stop you growing.

Passion can be self-indulgent – but Passion CAN improve the P&L, especially when channelled to achieving the opportunities of greatest business value.

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Company Culture, Engagement, leadership, Values
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