This is a Forbes.com article written by Matt Garrett
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“People with passion can change the world for the better” – Steve Jobs
This may be a little off the traditional accounting blog topic, but I was feeling inspired today. You often hear people say that you should find a job that you are passionate about and you will be successful. I have said it myself in my flits of wisdom to a young uninspired friend or family member. It’s important and true, but not everyone is lucky enough to be passionate about what they do on a daily basis, but you as a business leader can be instrumental in developing and inspiring passion in your people.
Making the workplace an enjoyable and exciting experience can go a long way in keeping high quality employees and pushing your employees to gain the passion that you may already possess about your business. Work can be hard, days can be long, and pressures can be high, but if your company is united and impassioned each day, employees can be influenced to maximize their capabilities.
Not everyone is a born leader, and there are many different ways to successfully manage and motivate, but instilling passion in a group or team is something that can be learned. So, here are few of things that I believe to be successful:
1) Create a team mentality. This means creating a common goal, a uniting ideology and a work place employees can relate to.
2) Create a vision for the future and a path to success. It may not always be the obvious path, and it may take some thinking outside the box, but a shared vision of success can help to impassion your workforce. This vision often entails striving to be the best company or team. A long term goal that gives employees a feeling that they can be proud of what they do and confidence in where the company is headed.
3) Empower your employees & listen. Be democratic and give value to your employee’s opinions, and who knows, they may have some good ideas.
4) Set high expectations. Reasonable, but high. Define tangible challenges and identify realistic goals. If your staff is constantly being asked to accomplish things that are just not feasible, they will give up. Your goal is to motivate them to work hard and to push themselves further than they thought possible.
5) Focus on the positive. You may not always be able to pay your employees as much as they deserve or want, but there is more to the work day than the dollars earned. We spend more time at work than we do at home these days, and a positive and happy workplace is important. This includes creating positive and comfortable physical working environment.
6) Use failure as a learning experience. Failure is part of life and part of business, but a good motivator finds a way to turn the failure on its head and use it as an influence to inspire their people. Everyone knows when they make a mistake or have failed, but focusing on the solutions and positive outcomes can go a long way.
7) Understanding and compassion. The reality is that life often gets in the way of work, and vice versa. People have bad days, and life can throw a lot of curve balls, so be understanding and compassionate and your employees will want to work for you and the company.
Employees that are passionate about their company are productive and will look forward to coming to work each day, and will go out of their way to make sure they do the things that are necessary to help the company succeed. At the end of the day, you, as the leader, are responsible for the success or failure. There are many different ways to inspire, but whatever path you choose, you should challenge your employees and create an environment where they build relationships and give them the opportunity to take pride in their work. These things will create the environment that influences employees to be passionate about the work they do.
“I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.” – George Burns
This article originally ran on Forbes.com on 8/28/13:
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