Three Passions of Remarkable Leaders
Passion for the Mission
All great leaders have it. They have a raging fire on the inside. A fire that burns brightly for one overarching goal: the mission at hand. A mission they believe in, live for, and sometimes even die for.
Lincoln. King. Jesus. Ghandi. Mandela. They all had an undying passion that ignited flames in thousands and millions who came alongside them to support a powerful mission. This passion is often a result of a deep desire to make an impact. It is sometimes born of a wrenching pain, a spiritual revelation, or a conviction to rescue others.
Let’s face it though, as leaders, the passion we have sometimes dies out. In the day-to-day hustle, we tend to forget what our mission is. Sometimes we forget it for weeks, months, even years. Focused on projects and tasks, we lose sight of why we are doing what we do in the first place.
But we must remember that people want to follow someone who whole-heartedly believes in their mission. After all, if we are being asked to follow a leader, we should have an assurance that he or she believes in it deeply. And great leadership bursts from a passion for our mission. So the questions for you and I today are: Has your passion for the mission fizzled out? Do you even remember your mission? Why are you leading people? And where you are going?
Losing sight of the mission happens to all of us. If you find it has happened to you, stop and search for your passion. Rediscover your mission. Write it down, and write about it. What is it that you are fighting for? What burns in your heart? Put it into words.
I heard this recently, and it has stuck with me: What is it that you would die for? Live for that. This is the passion great leaders live by. For me, my mission is simply to make a positive impact in the lives of others. That is why I work so hard. That is why I write. That is why I pursue every avenue to grow. Because I have a burning desire to positively impact others.
Passion for the People
The second undeniable passion that transformational leaders have is passion for the people they lead. We must stir our passion for the people who fight alongside us. Great generals are passionate about caring for their troops. Great field commanders and captains are willing to take a bullet for their soldiers. Great CEO’s give up their salaries to keep their people from being laid off.
Great leaders do more than care for their people. They even do more than love their people. Great leaders have an uncommon passion for their people. They would do anything to preserve their people’s well-being. And you see this passion exchanged between great leaders and their people. Consistently, you see people fighting equally as hard for their leaders.
Are you too busy to care for your people? This is a danger; one I know I must contend with. Friend, if you really want your leadership to sore, ignite your passion for your people.
Passion for Personal Growth
Remarkable leaders have an insatiable appetite for personal growth. They know that their failure of character or lack of wisdom can cost them and their people the mission.
It is said that President Theodore Roosevelt read one book per day. And the day he died, a book was under his pillow. It is also said that a typical CEO of a Fortune 500 company reads an average of five books a month. When you read biographies of great leaders, you see that in one way or another, they practiced intentional personal growth throughout their lives.
Actionable Step: Write this question in your growth file: “How alive is my passion for my mission, my people, and my personal growth?” Read it often. Hold yourself accountable to making sure you have a healthy dose of passion in these three areas.
About me: I am excited that my first hard cover book, Healthy Leadership: A Doctor’s Prescription for Becoming a Better Leader, is almost ready for publication. I received an early version, and I am very happy with what our book team, led by Andria Bicknell, has put together. I will keep you posted about when it will become available on Amazon.
For Further Reading: