I recently read a wonderful article about living a life of passion. In it, author David Brooks asks, “When we talk about living with passion, which is sort of cliché, what exactly do we mean?” (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/opinion/lady-gaga-and-the-life-of-passion.html?_r=0). And this isn’t the only time in the past little while that I’ve read something similar, including that passion statements are outdated, and since passion is now considered a ‘buzzword’ it should be removed from resumes.
So I’ve been thinking: “Why would we even consider that something so important as ‘living with passion’, is cliché?” In my opinion, ‘living with passion’, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passion) is what allow us to fulfill our own unique purpose, whatever that may be.
And I believe that the business owners that I work with would agree with that too. Whether like Joe, National TaxiLimo’s owner, they are passionate about making sure that their customers get where they are going, “Every ride. On Time. Every Time”, or providing the “friendly, knowledgeable service” that their customers desire, like a payroll outsourcing company that I work with, the business owners I know are passionate. In fact, their passion – their strong feelings and depth of enthusiasm and excitement for what they care about – is the reason they started their business in the first place. For most of the business owners I know and work with, passion and purpose are inextricably linked.
If that’s the case, then why do the owners of many businesses tell me that they often feel that they don’t have time to focus on what they’re really passionate about? That they’re too busy doing “other things” that don’t have anything to do with their business’s purpose? And why do we, as customers – the users of the products and services that those business owners feel so passionately about – often not feel that passion?
I believe that’s because it’s easy to get sidetracked and bogged down by processes, that over time, become so internally focused that they don’t support the delivery of the service or product that the business and customers are so passionate about. Perhaps an error once occurred in which an order wasn’t delivered properly. And even though the problem was solved then, an elaborate checking and audit process was put in place “just in case”. Now, years later, customer service reps are so focused on completing the audit that they don’t have time to contact customers, so deliveries are late. A process that was originally put in place to help make sure customers were satisfied now actually prevents the organization from fulfilling its purpose.
The processes our companies use to deliver value to customers need to support our ability to fulfill our purpose passionately. So Joe, at National TaxiLImo monitors each ride to determine if it was “on time.” And if it wasn’t, he asks ‘why’ to find out so that problems can be prevented in the future.
Your customers work with your company and use your products or services because of what you are uniquely passionate about. The processes by which your company delivers those services or products need to support and reflect that purpose.
Passion is important. Purpose is important. Connecting passion and purpose to serve our customers is really important. Passion isn’t cliché, it’s what fuels us to turn our dreams into reality and fulfill the purpose that each of has.
Are you focused on your passion and purpose every day? Do the processes your teams use to deliver products and services to customers support your company’s purpose and passion?
If you’re not sure, give me a call, send me an email, or visit my website: www.karynrossconsulting.com. I’m passionate about helping your business learn how to use passion to fulfill your purpose.