Passion Management (i.e., Leadership)
“Passion is innovation’s midwife.”
Passion management is about excitement and obviously passion. It is managing, in part, through the use of emotion. People do not leave their personalities and emotions in the car in the parking lot. They bring all of it to work. So why not use it?
Passion can be transmitted throughout the organization in many ways including email, newsletters, conference calls, videoconferences, etc. However, probably the most effective is interpersonal relations on a one-to-one basis. It is often easier to transmit emotion, feelings, and enthusiasm person-to-person. This may be in part why management by walking around can be effective. Person-to-person also has the added benefit of helping establish trust relationships throughout the organization.
In passion management you attempt to get the staffs’ commitment based on their desires and what turns them on. Then you link it and align it with the overall company objectives.
Can you manage passion?
Given that passion is about emotion and feelings, two topics that rarely are in the same sentence as management and control, it begs the question, “Can you manage passion?” This reminds me of Machiavelli in the book The Prince asking the young prince would he rather be beloved or feared. The prince falls in to the small trap and says beloved and then explains why using all of the obvious reason. But then Machiavelli tries to set him straight by saying that it is better to be feared. The reason being that the love of the people was an emotion and a situation that he could not control. However, he could control how much the people feared him.
Passion management is a bit like that. Emotion and passion tend to have a life of their own. As a manager you may be able to monitor it, perhaps steer it a bit, but probably not manage it. As a result it is a high-risk management technique, especially when executives feel threatened by the fact that they cannot control the passion. However, it can be very effective in the correct situations.
So what then?
Ok given this, then how do you get higher level of commitment from your staff? First, make it a real adventure or a cause. Employees can see through ruses. Therefore, make the cause real. Use passion management to help instill passion throughout the organization. If you can reposition the work of your business so that it is seen as a cause, you will get the benefits I have just described, your products should be revolutionary to some degree anyway, if not you will not be successful in the marketplace.
Second, there is an added advantage if you can make the cause or adventure fun. People may work harder without additional incentives for work they like or find meaningful. Look at the number of volunteer, civic and social organizations. These are volunteer organizations that expect and get tremendous effort from their membership, without pay. A sense of satisfaction and fun can make the difference. Fun is contagious. People having fun, tend to spread fun, which just helps reinforce the feeling. If volunteer organizations can get high levels of effort and commitment, you should be able to get at least some increased effort if you actually pay, don’t you think?
Third, as mentioned in a previously article increase the high leverage activity intensity. By reducing low leverage tasks, employed talents’ productivity goes up. Employed talent is more likely to maintain or increase their effort when they see that they are accomplishing something; a sense of completion can be a motivator.
Fourth, you can get higher levels of commitment and effort from you employees, if you have the right employees. This goes back to the importance of recruitment and the importance of fit. This point cannot be stressed enough. Additionally, having a company with a cause or adventure makes it an easier sale for the recruiter. People want to be involved in making a difference, a higher cause, etc. The best, most talented people often require something extra, this can be it, which will make the task of attracting and keeping the best even easier.
In the end passion management is just good leadership . . . ah do I miss it.