To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable. – Beethoven
From the moment I read this quote I’ve not stopped thinking about it. It has come up over and over again in my mind.
As a thought about its application to my life and work, I realized that it is really a litmus test to determine whether or not we are living and leading with passion. Here’s how…
How often do you hit the wrong key – play the wrong note? We all do it. If you have been in leadership long, you’ve made plenty of mistakes.
So when you make a mistake, do you get derailed? Or do you acknowledge it, evaluate it, and move on?
How do your mistakes impact your future decisions? Do they create hesitation and fear?
What Is Passion?
Some people see passion as a temporary burst of energy or effort toward a given cause or project. Others might view it as something dangerous that causes too many fanatics to act without restraint.
In the context of leadership, passion is the fuel that drives us to do what we do best. It is the underlying motivation that compels us toward our life goals. Passion fuels your “Why”.
Simon Sinek gave an incredible TED talk about how our “Why” is the core reason we have for doing whatever it is we do.
Unfortunately, too many people are doing things (jobs, education, family, etc.) without a clear “Why”. Either they’ve forgotten or neglected it, or they’ve never taken the time to determine it.
Whether for temporary reasons or otherwise, these leaders are playing without a clear “Why?” – without passion! And I agree with Beethoven – this is simply inexcusable.
We cannot afford to live and work without clarity. When we lead without a clear and driving passion, we are limiting our own potential and the collective potential of those we lead.
If you lack passion in your own leadership, now is the time to act. If you’ve never found your passion – your “Why” – then pause long enough to figure out what it is that fires you up and gets you moving. Define it and go get it.
If you have allowed your passion to fade from your immediate focus, make the changes necessary to bring it back to the forefront of your leadership. Put some reminders along your path so you never allow it to fade again.
Live and work with that passion in every area of your life. Be bold enough to make mistakes and view them in their proper context. Learn from them, but don’t allow them to define or limit your leadership. Play on!
When we lead with passion, we experience results we never thought possible. Those who follow notice the difference and join you (or leave!). Your team can then have the impact that you have always desired.
Take action now. To do otherwise is inexcusable!