Written by Richard Trevino II | International Consultant, Speaker & Writer
Sometimes, the bad moments in leadership can seem so overwhelming that leaders lose their passion and love for their people and work. But what does passion really mean? Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. More than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible. Passionate leaders motivate and inspire their people to be the best they can be and put as much of their best selves as they can into achieving their goals. Passionate leaders are able to share their ambition with others and inspire them to go after the same goals. Simply put, passionate leaders and managers make a lasting difference.
Unfortunately, leaders can’t always stay passionate about work. According to leadership expert Dan Black, some of the reasons that passion for leadership dwindles include:
The stress and demand of a project or task causes you to burn out.
The weight of leadership takes a toll on you over the years.
Personnel problems or issues weigh heavy on your shoulders.
A significant situation or issue happens at home.
You failed in a major leadership role at work.
When you’re burned out and discouraged, your love and passion for work suffers. Your efficiency lessens, and you can be short-tempered with co-workers — and even friends and family. But don’t worry. There are ways to rekindle your passion and love for your work.
Passionate leaders always have a vision — it’s what they are passionate about. In order to stay focused, leaders must have specific goals that they are committed to accomplishing. Every step toward their vision must be specifically laid out. It’s easier to stay committed when you have a clear direction. It also helps lessen the stress and demands of a project. When you set goals and share the vision with your team, you also reinforce a team mindset among your employees.
Celebrate the achievement of each goal
It’s hard to remember the importance of your vision when all you do is work on it. You need to acknowledge the progress of your goals and recognize the contributions that you and your team make. Give them, and yourself, the needed pat on the back to further ignite your passion and theirs. Celebrating the little things can remind you that what you’re doing is going somewhere and isn’t just some endless task you have to do. When you celebrate each achievement, you show that you’re getting closer to your vision.
The task isn’t yours alone. As the leader, your job is to guide your team — but each member of the team has their own purpose. Empower your team to reach their full potential by trusting them to do their part. Be clear about your vision and share information that is essential to your team. But while it’s important to have control over a project, you can’t control everything. Trust your team to do their best in their respective tasks. This can help ease the burden of leadership from your shoulders.
Have the right support system
Sometimes, self-motivation fails; we all inevitably tire out. In your personal life, it’s good to have a partner or friend that you can talk to about your day. When you have someone to talk to, the burdens of leadership are easier to deal with. Also, look for a mentor from outside your organization. Many professionals that have hired my firm for coaching and mentorship are people that needed an outlet and perspective away from their company. It's been said that you can’t see the picture if you’re in the frame. Sometimes, you need someone who can offer perspective without being involved. Someone on your team might be geared up when you’re not; ask him/her to be the motivator for the day. It’s OK to let someone else step up on your unmotivated days. Someone needs to keep the passion going, and your co-worker might be able to energize you as well.
Maintain work-life balance
Being passionate at work doesn’t give you an excuse to overwork. If anything, it’s more of a reason for you to take a break so that you don’t run out of passion and love for what you are doing. When your passion dwindles, your productivity and even your personal life can suffer. You creativity is depleted easily when you’re overworked, too, so make sure to find ways to restore your energy and passion, be it a hobby that you enjoy or something else that lets you relax, unwind and recharge.
Use these tips to rekindle your passion and motivation for leadership.