In Tough Times Passion Keeps Businesses Afloat

In our book, Liberating Passion, Paul B. Brown and I contend that businesses seek passionate people. This matters in tough economic times more than ever. Why? Because passionate commitment converts potential talent into the actual performance that struggling businesses need to survive. Moreover, the opposites – apathy and disengagement – are poor ways to get a return-on-talent (or a return on the ability/energy, for that matter, of our human assets).

Yet seeking to infuse passion in people is misguided. Passion is natural. Capable people abound with passion, at least in the areas in which they are talented. In fact, we see people passionate about so many aspects of life. If work isn’t one of those, it’s because companies institutionalize “passion killers.” Through mediocre leadership practices, dysfunctional teams, poor communication and dispiriting work cultures, companies become passion castrators.

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About the Author

Omar Khan is founder and senior partner of Sensei International, a global leadership development firm. The above article is adapted from his book Liberating Passion: How the World’s Best Global Leaders Produce Winning Results (Wiley & Sons).

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