Good Habits #31: Show Your Passion

By | April 9, 2017

[April 9, 2017]  One day many years ago I was visiting Fort Dix, New Jersey; a small U.S. Army base where mostly Reservists and Guardsmen train and located east of Philadelphia across the Delaware River.  The commander of the base was a senior Colonel and a rising star in the military.  He was eager to tell me that his primary job was to be a “cheerleader for the base” and his passion for the job was irrefutable.  This was one of his many good habits.

That chance meeting stuck with me for a long time.  Passion is contagious.  Where ever I went on Fort Dix I was met with a personal warmth that was a bit unusual; typically I’m met with a stiff upper lip feeling on army bases.  Militaries have a history and being warm is not one of their common traits and is often looked down upon as being weak (I’m being judgmental here, of course).

“Great ambition is the passion of a great character.” – Napoléon Bonaparte, French military leader and emperor

Showing your passion means that others will see you as interested, engaged, and caring.  Passion can be quick and relatively easy to start but very difficult to maintain.  That is why those who consistently show it have achieved greatness; as they show those key traits.  Some say that leadership is a journey – and it certainly is – but this conveys the idea that passion does not play a key role; a mistake that should be dismissed.

We should always aware that passion is ultimately an emotion and being such it can cloud our judgment and actions.  Mental resilience and mental strength, achieved through experience and education, can keep it in check.  For we use passion as we would use any tool to make us better leaders and better people.

My trip to that small base in central New Jersey provided me with a life-long lesson that I never forget during my time in military service.  I applied that concept of being a cheerleader (having passion for my job) and it worked.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.