Weekly Thought – June 1, 2021
Fred thought strategically. His analytical style allowed him to maintain objectivity. A strong element in his approach was the clarification of passion. This week, his words build on his rational view of passion.
“Passion is concentrated wisdom with high energy in the pursuit of meaning.” That definition is one of my favorites.
Effective leaders are imbued with passion. It gives energy to the business; it sustains in difficult times, and it gives hope.
My theologian friend Dr. Ramesh Richard says, “First in life, decide on your passion. What is your first love? If you have multiple passions, you’ll be ripped to pieces internally, resulting in a fragmented, random life. If anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ is your first love, you will fall into idolatry.”
The advantages of a clear, healthy passion are multiple: 1) brings purpose, unity, intensity, and concentration; 2) gives intentionally to life; 3) provides depth keeping us from the shallowness of mediocrity.
Examples of passionate leaders: 1) Solzhenitsyn had an undying passion for truth and principle; 2) Mother Teresa, a passion for the dying; 3) Moody, Spurgeon, and Graham – a passion for souls; and 4) Churchill whose indomitable passion of will gave the British the needed wartime stamina.
I see two sources of passion: 1) Received as a gift- the person is born with an exceptional capacity for passion. They can unite the mind, heart, and spirit. They have the ability to lose themselves in a cause, dedicating themselves to a single purpose. I listened to an older writer being interviewed by a younger one.” If you had your life to live over, what would you do?” His answer: “I would find something big enough to give myself to.” 2) Vision – the clearer the vision, the more focused the passion. If the vision becomes blurred, the passion becomes dissipated. In an organization where everyone buys into and fully understands the passion and purpose, all effort is unified with high energy. An organization without passion is a car without gasoline, a rocket without fuel.
Passion does not always express itself the same way in leaders… one may be quiet, and another effervescent. It is a mistake to equate passion with charisma.
The purpose of our passion must have integrity. I have heard leaders complain that their employees don’t have the same desire for success that they do. On further examination, often I found the dedication was to personal success, rather than organizational success.
I often ask a question: “Is the object of the passion worthy of the commitment?” The Apostle Paul, a man of exceptional passion, was willing to be accursed if his purpose was not accomplished. Self-sacrifice is the acid test of our passion. While passion supplies hope, tenacity, energy, it also increases vision. It creates its own reality.
I like the prayer of the old saint: “O, Lord, fill my will with fire.” He was asking for passion with a receptive, expectant attitude toward God. A pure passion turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.
This week carefully consider: 1) What is my primary passion? 2) How am I expressing this to those around me? 3) When do I get unfocused about my vision?
Words of Wisdom: “An organization without passion is a car without gasoline, a rocket without fuel.”
Wisdom from the Word: “But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end.” (Hebrews 6:11 NET Bible)