What Passion Does For Leaders

Passion is a key element for a leader. I have observed the people who are successful and achieve great things have passion. It is important to find the areas you are passionate about then stay focused on them. I have discovered finding your purpose and strengths helps when it comes to having passion. Authors Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler cite a study of 1,500 people over 20 years showing the value of finding your passions within your life:

At the outset of the study, the group was divided into Group A, 83 percent of the sample, who were embarking on a career chosen for the prospect of making money now in order to do what they want later, and Group B, the other 17 percent of the sample, who had chosen their career path for the reverse reason, they were going to pursue (Their passions) what they want to do now and worry about money later. The data showed some startling revelations:

At the end of the 20 years, 101 of the 1,500 had become millionaires.

Of the millionaires, all but one-100 out of 101- were from Group B, the group that had chosen to pursue what they loved(Their passions)!

This study clearly shows the benefits and results of finding and focusing on your passions. Here are 5 other things that happen when a leader has passion:

1. Passion produces energy- A leader who has passion is driven forward from the energy it produces. When it comes to leading yourself and others passion and energy are essential. Donald Trump said, “Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.” Leaders who have passion also bring energy into what they do.

2. Passion drives vision- If a leader wants to see their vision and goals being accomplished, then the leader’s passion is the fuel that drives the production and results of the vision. The vision of the organization or team should be frequently and passionately communicated to others.

3. Passion ignites others- We have all seen or been around a passionate leader. I personally know after I’m around a passionate leader their energy and passions off on me. This causes me to feel more energized and motivated. A person’s passions can ignite other people’s passions and bring energy into their life.

4. Passion raises influence- John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”  This is what happens when a leader has passion. The leader starts gaining more influence with others and people want to be a part of what’s going on. If you want to raise your influence then you need to be a passionate leader.

5. Passion provides potential- I have observed that a leader’s passion brings new opportunity and opens the door to success. This is because when you’re passionate about what you’re doing it moves you closer to your potential. Moving you closer to your potential causes you to be moving into the next level within your career and personal journey.

Question: Have you found your passions and how do they impact your leadership and life?

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47 thoughts on “What Passion Does For Leaders

  1. What a great question Dan about passion. I know GOD is leading down the right path and aligning me with the right people. You are so right that your Passion shows others how focused you are. It becomes infectious and you can’t help but join them and find your passion. All of your points truly hit me square in the chest. I am definitely going to share this with my team.

    • Lincoln Parks,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Lets move forward in our leadership with passion and energy. Thank you for taking the time to read the post.

  2. Truth is – when I found my passion I found enjoyment in my life’s calling. It is work sometimes but most of the time it is enjoyment. My passion is Christ which is funneled through pastoring – not just preaching but all that is entailed in being a pastor. I believe when you find passion – you find joy and enjoyment – at least that is how it has worked for me.

    • Jim,

      That is so cool man. Glad you are working in your passion at what you love to do, we need more pastors like you:)

      Thank you for adding value to the discussion.

  3. i want to echo what Jim has already said. When I was faced with unemployment several years ago I took almost 6 months off from preaching/pastoring. I found what my passion was. Even now, I see how important it is. One passion many have is mission trips. That is not one of mine. I will support those who go but at this stage of my life, I have no desire to go myself. i don’t think that makes me a bad or disobedient person. I think it makes me a person who knows where his passion lies. am I opposed to going? No, not if I felt God was leading me to go. Passion dictates what I/we do.

    • Bill,

      Great point, I think church leaders need to focus on their passion/ what God called them specifically to do. I also support mission trips and other ministry but those are not my passion areas. My passion/focus is more on the young adult age when it comes to ministry. I really like what you said about “passion dictating what I/we do” that’s so true.

      Thank you for reading and your insights.

  4. I’ve never been a very passionate person (yeah, I’m that guy who’ll pay big bucks for awesome tickets for my favorite team, then not yell or scream once). Unfortunately, that has also meant that I’m not really sure what my potential vocational passions would be either.

    Ever since I revived my blog last month, I’ve realized how much I loved/missed writing. Maybe that’ll turn into a passion!

    • Rob,

      Like you said, you might have started to find a passion area in your life, writing! I think also looking at the reason for writing is important. After recently finding and following your blog, I can tell you write to help and add value to others. So I would encourage you to keep writing and through your writing other passions will start showing through. Your passion for writing might start a passion to help others in a specific area or give you direction for what you should do.

      Does this make sense to you?

  5. finding my passion was easy…and it delegates everything else in my life…from family to ministry to blog to writing…

    it really does affect every aspect of my life…

    love it.

  6. I agree that passion produces energy.

    I am at a place of starting over again, having moved continents a few months ago. The one thing that that keeps me committed and moving on passion. I love what I do and thus regardless of how thick things get, I find that God gives me the energy I need because this is the way He’s wired me..with certain passions. I don’t think I would be energetic if i did not have a passion for writing, speaking and coaching. Passion is a great deal when it comes to pursuing one’s purpose.

    Awesome post.

    • I agree with you Ngina. God is giving me energy to pursue the passions He has blessed me with. We are all unique and all important in the family of God. May He guide us all in pursuing His will.

    • Ngina,

      Moving continents must have been a huge change and step of faith.

      I totally relate with you. My passion is to write, speak, and mentor others. Its been the driving force of my blog and what I have been focusing on for the past several years. It sounds like those areas are our driving force.

      I really like you point, ” Passion is a great deal when it comes to pursuing one’s purpose.” Totally agree with that.

      Thank you for reading and adding value to the discussion.

      • Huge change and big faith it was!

        Africa and America are totally different :) America is a beautiful place though (except for the cold in winter!) and we are happy and growing.

        Awesome that we carry similar passions. Life becomes very beautiful when one lives a life of purpose. Not many are willing (or able at this point) to pursue purpose fully (as a “day job”) and it’s always a big blessing to be able to do so.

        • Great to hear your happy and growing. Its a great opportunity to experience a different culture.

          So true about living a life of purpose, I always enjoy connecting with people with similar interests. It shows God is using many people to advance the His Kingdom.

  7. The results from that case study are very interesting and I believe it. People always assume that it’s a either/or type scenario: either you make money or pursue your passion, that’s false. Dan Miller always says you’ll make more money with your passion because you’ll be the best at it, the key is to figure out what that passion is, your true passion. You can have tremendous success and have a happy and fulfilled life because you’re living out your passion.

    • Kimanzi,

      I think this quote goes well with your comment,

      “Find something you like to do so much that you’d gladly do it for nothing, and if you learn to do it well, someday people will be happy to pay you for it.”

      Each person needs to find their talents and life calling which ignites their passion then focus on developing and using those areas. I totally agree with you about when a person does this they live a “fulfilled life.”

      Your defiantly an example of someone who has found their passions and is staying focused on them. Keep up the great work man.

  8. Really powerful study.

    I’m still learning about my passion and where it is headed. I’m not sure what lay ahead, only that God is in control and for the first time in my life I am truly enjoying what I do. passion makes all the difference. Life is too short to not do what you love. While you may not be able to make a career out of it, passion should be a part of every persons life.

    Great post and excellent points.

    • TC Avey,

      You bring up a valuable point about God being in control of our life and direction. When we have God at the center of our life true passions start merging into our life. God passion is better than self made passion.

      I pray you fully find you passions and life calling. I think your doing a great job showing your passions and wisdom on your blog.

      • I appreciate the encouragement Dan, thank you!

        Such a true statement- “God passion is better than self made passion” I pray more people come to this realization!

        Your post has been running through my mind since I read it- thank you for helping me to realize how grateful I am to be doing what I love- following God!

  9. Very good post, and interesting study. It is not hard to believe the numbers.
    The root of the word ‘passion’ means to “ache from within”. It is the burning desire in the heart – the Passion of Christ was to save His children. As with Jesus, our passions are not always pleasant to us, but following them (especially when you know they are within God’s Will) always means success (whether it is spiritual or physical success).

    • Susan,

      Thank you for sharing the root meaning behind the word passion, it really adds value to the discussion and topic. Following the passions God has placed in us defiantly leads to success. Thank you for sharing.

  10. For me, passion keeps me going even when things get tough. It seems weird, because you would think that passion would wane when discouraging circumstances settle in, but I’ve seen it just the opposite for me. My passion pushes me through those times and helps me keep going.

  11. For me as a writer, my passion for writing gives me a voice that I never knew I had. I am a naturally quiet person. Most communication and expression are done in my little head.
    And passion gives me a guarantee of joy, if the course gets tough.

    • Jamie,

      Great point about writing giving you/others a voice. It allows us to write about our passions in a way others would be impacted from. Keep following your passions of writing, your doing a great job!

    • Benjer,

      I thought the same thing about the study. Glad it was able to encourage you. Know your work with youth matters and is leaving a lasting impact. Keep following your passions. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Great post Dan! I agree passion is a very important element for leaders. I am always inspired by leaders who exhibit passion in what they do; especially, when they are pursuing things in life that make a vibrant difference or contribution. Wonderful points.