Once again, Kathy Sierra jumps in and offers much to think about in her post: Don’t ask employees to be passionate about the company!
I’ve not heard the expression “passionate about the company/firm/employer” … from folks within my firm, that is. Although I have had many conversations about loyalty to the firm … and the firm’s decided lack of loyalty to its employees. Loyalty and passion are not the same thing (duh!) … In my experience (limited as it is) it has been more a matter of being passionate about your work versus just-tow-the-corporate-line…get-with-the-program-…don’t-rock-the-boat-…who-do-you-think-you-are? kinda thing. Passion versus Zombie.
I remember a speaker at a conference years ago who told us that if we wanted to learn what someone is passionate about then look in their checkbook and their calendar …. people spend their time and money on what they value and enjoy. That’s always stayed with me.
Awhile ago I was part of a small workgroup in the firm. We had what amounted to an unfunded mandate – we weren’t given a budget, not allowed to spend money without many layers of approval … and yet needed to produce stuff, the potential of which was to be used to gain new clients and all that. We were told that we could devote X hours per week in this work.
Within a few short weeks, members of this workgroup moaned that they just didn’t have the time to devote to this work … they essentially demanded that the firm create this as ‘full-time’ positions.
My retort then was that if we really really really wanted to pursue our ideas (that is, were passionate about them) then we’d make or find the time to devote to the work (because it’s no longer work, per se … it is something I care about, have fun pursuing, am deeply interested in).
One must must must read the entire post (and check out some really great comments as well) … Here’s a four-question ‘quiz’ to see IF you (or someone you love) has passion for your work – rather than for the corporation:
The simple 4-quesetion test to see if someone has a passion for their work:
* When was the last time you read a trade/professional journal or book related to your work? (can substitute “attended an industry conference or took a course”)
* Name at least two of the key people in your field.
* If you had to, would you spend your own money to buy tools or other materials that would improve the quality of your work?
* If you did not do this for work, would you still do it (or something related to it) as a hobby?
She then goes on to describe the characteristics of those who are passionate about the employer compared to one who is passionate about their work.