Steve Jobs will be remembered for many things but it’s something he said that will always resonate for me – “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. As a coach I have the privilege to work with some incredibly smart and talented people and I see the difference this ‘love’ can make both in terms of productivity and the client’s general well being. Many companies’ talk about this ‘love’ in their values – they want their employees to be ‘passionate about’ or ‘love’ what they do. What edge does this give? To me, it brings:-
Energy – a desire to strive to achieve, the drive to get the job done well and the courage to set stretching targets and goals. Not to be confused with working long hours – many do but they do it because they want to, not because they feel they need to be seen to be working long hours.
Confidence – physically you see the difference in the way they walk and you hear it in the way they speak – the upbeat tone and the enthusiasm for their roles.
Curiosity – an open mind to face the unpredictable challenges and a genuine desire to learn from their experiences and those around them.
Sharing – when you love what you do, you want to tell people (including customers) about it, you want to share your knowledge and for others to share your passion.
Conversely, when you lose that Va Va Voom, work feels harder, the days feel longer and symptoms of stress can start becoming visible. This isn’t a healthy place to be – at this point, it’s time to sit back and ask yourself ‘Where has my passion gone?”, “How can I get it back?” If the answer is that you can’t, we would suggest maybe it’s time to dust down the CV, do some blue-sky thinking and start planning your next move.