Well it wouldn’t be a February blog if there wasn’t at least one small reference to Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest commercial events of the year, after Christmas, Halloween and Easter. And do you know, I LOVE you the fact that love can be celebrated officially at least once a year! Love has its place in our lives through our relationships, friendships, our work and our passions.
I was working with staff an organisation a few years ago and we were discussing whether they loved their work, or not. For some, love was a word that they would quite happily partner with feelings that they have for the work they did and the people they did it with. For others, love was simply not a word that they wanted to, or felt was appropriate to associate with work. It provoked both strong approval and strong resistance. There were few who sat on the fence with neutral feelings about the use of the word ‘love’ in a work context.
As business owners what place does the word love have when describing how we feel about our work?
I have come across some interesting conflicts, for example:
“I love what I do but I don’t love the business side of things”.
“I love helping customers but I don’t love selling”
“I love my business but I don’t love the technology needed for marketing”
Love does tend to produce conflicts!
This month I have been asked to speak at a business club on ‘ Keeping The Passion Alive In Your Business’. I will be starting by asking what the point of passion at work is anyway? This is probably best explained when we look at a relationship between two people. Where passion exists there are usually other important features within the relationship that make it strong and long-lasting. For example:
- Passion brings intensity to a relationship
- Passion brings strong connection within a relationship
- Passion sharpens focus on what the other needs
- Passion can increase the desire to please.
If we take passion away then what happens?
- Our feelings become less intense in the relationship
- The connection we have to our ‘cause’ weakens
- Our focus dissolves
- We become less motivated to please
Hmm – I don’t know about you, but that second list doesn’t sound like a recipe for successful performance in business does it? For me, there is always room for passion at work. Without it something is missing. The point of passion is to enable us to stay intense in our relationship with our work, to maintain our connection with why we do what we do, to keep our focus sharp and to seek to serve others as well as ourselves through our work.