Do you have passion? No, I am not talking about romance, but are you motivated or get excited by what you do? Is there a spring in your step when you finish a project successfully? Do your eyes light up when you talk about what you do or do you talk in a mono tone voice putting everyone asleep? Are you enthused to learn new and better ways to perform your job; or do you make excuses when explaining why improvement takes so much time?
The Free Dictionary defines passion as “Boundless enthusiasm” and “The object of such enthusiasm”. I had a meeting the other day, with a mid-level manager, who is responsible for printing. The meeting, at times, was awkward. The manager presented ideas, that in his/her opinion might possibly be potential ways might help the printing department. There was no firm commitment or direction in the manager’s voice; no excitement, motivation, or commitment in the presentation. Maybe the manager wanted me to tell him how he should run his department because trying to grasp a firm direction was like trying to catch a greased pig in a large pen. I noticed, however, that this tone changed when I asked the manager to share with me about his/her background. The manager’s tone changed as they shared his/her education and previous work experience in printing, giving a greater excitement in his/her speech.
To tell you the truth, a spot light turned on! Normally you see an image with a small light bulb showing the person had an AH HA moment! This pin pointed the key problem. To share more of the background, when I had talked with the CEO, there was an attitude of improvement and change. However, when I spoke to the workers there was a lack of dedication, and motivation for improvement change to name just two. In fact, when I talked and saw the results of the front line workers the first time it was infuriating. This organization has a huge dis-connect between the top management and the workers; however, taking the time to meet with the mid-level manager, it became clear. The mid-level manager had no passion, no love for what the organization produced and it transferred down to the workers under his/her leadership.
The CEO wanted to produce the best product; not the result ending in an inferior sub-standard product. CEO’s must have managers who have the same vision and passion for the organization to succeed. All the improvements and efforts to change the workers will be for not if the mid-level manager doesn’t care, neither will the workers.
One of my managers was James Gleason, who is a great example of what a mid-level manager should be. Jim had just been put in charge of Creative Services which was made up of procurement, print shop, designers, and account executives. He was a mid-level manager at The Phoenix insurance company. His background was that of a former Marine tank commander. Jim didn’t have a printing background, but he had passion, which resulted in a desire to learn about his new department and what it produced. Jim’s passion resulted in continuous improvement as well as greater responsibility.
Do you have passion?