Sometimes it seems to me that everyone on the planet is talking about how passionate they are.

Most of them are passionate, of course. And they are right to be passionate. And that’s not the point. And I’m not talking about using ‘passionate’ in your LinkedIn profile or in CVs either.  That’s already been well covered by LinkedIn themselves in this January2015 post which shows that ‘Passionate’ is the second highest descriptor used in LinkedIn profiles after ‘Motivated‘. That makes it a poor differentiator in my book.

No, I’m talking about talking about our passions.

You and I know that passion is a powerful fuel. No wonder when it derives from a Latin root to suffer, sacrifice and endure! I’m a big fan of passion in action.

We know that it is hard, if not impossible, to achieve anything noteworthy in life without passion or, at the very least some level of enthusiasm or, at least, an investment of ourselves to the cause.

I’m not a fan of us talking about our passion to others, though. Especially in business.
I’m not sure if it is down to the Emotional Intelligence Zeitgeist, linguistic inflation, or simple emotional incontinence, but I do hear a lot of people self-proclaim their passion. And, I must admit, it makes me wonder; in the same way as I wonder about how people can give 110% and how 17 minutes longer on the daily commute turns the journey into a nightmare.

For me, our passions are like our values. If we need to declare them there is something missing. Jack Welch said it eloquently about values when he said ‘Values are just behaviours, specific, nitty-gritty and so descriptive they leave little to the imagination’.

Again, like when we manifest our values in the world, and others talk about us in that special way; so it is perfectly valid when others talk about our passions.

So, 3 suggestions:

  1. Let others know how consumed and committed you are through your actions and let them talk about our passions.
  2. If you are in the habit of self-declaring your passion as a differentiator in conversations, consider other ways to articulate the commitment you bring in specific nitty-gritty terms. There are countless ways to do this. One of the things I declare explicitly is that any terms, conditions, specifications and SLAs we might agree between ourselves will be considered by me as the baseline performance criteria, not the finish line to be stretched to.
  3. Whilst you are here you may as well click over to your own LinkedIn profile and use your Browser’s ‘Find’ function to check for ‘Passion’. Edit any entry you wrote and celebrate any use in your various recommendations

If you are looking to bring some practical passion rocket-fuel to yourself or your team, if you are looking to transition from knowing to doing, if you like the idea of welding your purpose to your priorities within high volume, high velocity workloads, get in touch. Together we will deliver ‘Results Worth Talking About’ That’s a promise.