Posts Tagged ‘passion’

passion1What if I didn’t care? 

Seems like an odd thought to begin with. Yet the other day while researching a subject I thought, What if I didn’t care? Would I be researching this subject? Would I write this blog? Would I continue to explore new ideas?

I suspect I wouldn’t continue these activities but I had a hard time imagining the larger effect of not caring. What would that be like? You see, this caring is a good feeling and certainly a handy tool. Drives me to do a good job. I like to be around other people who care as well. Not necessarily what I care about but that care about something.

Since I couldn’t imagine not caring I took another step forward and asked another question that seemed more useful. Why do I care? And perhaps then in understanding why I could take another step and ask  how do I help others care?

After all in change management, and hopefully business as a whole, the key to success is getting people to care about what needs to be done. And we know this is hard because we have so many people jaded and cynical about change because of poorly executed projects or hollow cheer-leading efforts or many other sins committed in the name of change.

I want people to care about the change I’m helping them with. I want them to have some passion. I don’t, however, need them to be fanatical or extreme or obsessive about it.  You can have passion without being over the top. But wanting them to care is not enough.

So how do we get them to care?

  • Show that you care. Show your passion. That’s infectious.  Show that you know the situation and process of method or plan. First because you can’t have passion about something you don’t understand. Second, your mastery of the knowledge illustrates a commitment. And third, because you’ll need to educate them.
  • Be on a mission. Make it a priority. Do not get distracted. Nothing kills passion like distraction and rapid changing priorities. If you get distracted, your people will get distracted.
  • Power to the People. Knowledge is power. You can’t care about something you don’t understand. Treat your people as if they need to understand as much as you do. Educate them as much as possible on the situation, the subject matter and the methods.
  • It’s about each person. Everyone will be motivated differently. Acknowledge that. Attend to that.  Don’t treat your people like a mob. Don’t try to whip them into a frenzy. Mobs get out of control. Burning down the vampire’s mansion is not the goal.

I think these are excellent behaviors in all endeavors. Yet the first and hardest step is that you have to choose to care that they care. Take that first step. It’s caring and it’s free.

And speaking of passion.

 

 

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barkis1

 

Indeed Barkis is willing. And he has his reasons. In Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” Mr. Barkis is a character who is interested in marrying Peggotty based on her cooking chops. He sends a simple message via David to Peggotty: Barkis is willing.

Now perhaps we would prefer maybe that Barkis had a different motive for wanting to marry Peggotty, such as her beauty or her charm or gentleness. But Barkis is willing to marry for his own reason. And in the context of the book we have to accept that.

In the change world sometimes you will have the fortune to run into Barkis. Barkis is often not who you were expecting. Whoever it is, whatever there motive for wanting involvement in your vision, ignore Barkis at your own peril. Barkis is a seed that has germinated. Give Barkis the right amount of love.

We tend to ignore Barkises  when they’re not in the appropriate position of power. We tend to ignore Barkises when they’re not totally aligned with us. We tend to ignore Barkises when they’re on the periphery of the project. It can be easy to dismiss Barkis.

But I repeat, do not ignore Barkis. Barkis is displaying interest and desire, sometimes even passion. Desire is the mother lode. Grab onto that.

This falls under the greater category of Take What the Beast Will give. We work so hard to educate people and inspire them to have vision and create motivation and focus towards that vision. I know it’s hard because we fail so often to generate inspiration. So when hear Barkis is willing, stop and listen.

Why is Barkis so important?

Like I said, desire is hard to create and find. Don’t squander the opportunity. But it’s perhaps the underlying impacts that a Barkis can have that make this important to nurture.

Desire and passion are contagious. They are palpable. Just like when you genuinely smile at someone they are more likely to genuinely smile as well. And smiling feels good. So does desire. And at work how often do you get to feel good? The key to change is changing culture, perceptions, moods and so on. What better to influence these than a collective increase in a desire to be part of a vision.

Credibility. You are dead in the water without it. And believe it or not the best credibility you can have doesn’t come from you. It comes from someone who probably doesn’t have a stake in the game. You and the management tasked with a project don’t count. Someone who’s gotten the vision, found some passion around it and is willing to talk about it will bring credibility to the vision that can’t be bought.

As with many things it’s your job to nurture your Barkis, mold your Barkis and of course not let Barkus go too far off path, which is why having a good vision is so important. You can be flexible without losing sight of the goal.

Because in the end it’s about Barkis and his friends changing course, not you.