Got Passion?

passion |ˈpa sh ən|
~ strong and barely controllable emotion : a man of impetuous passion.


We often think of passion as an indicator of emotional attachment. It’s a noun we tend to think of as an adjective, believing that people are either passionate about something, or they’re not, and that’s that. It is what it is, and if we associate or partner with that person we have to deal with it as is; their feelings after all, are their feelings.

That’s not really true.

The truth is, that passion can be encouraged, supported, and cultivated, something that all managers can do for themselves, and then for their staff:

Passion is a direct result of the healthy culture-building done with value alignment.

Passion can be cultivated, and existing passions can be grown.

Within Managing with Aloha, we will associate passion with the value of Ho‘ohana most often, associating it with purpose, and with Key 2 on Worthwhile Work. We all like the outcomes that passion will deliver. We readily agree that passionate work will be better work. Passionate work will be more enjoyable for us, and it will be more satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling. Once passion is connected to the work we do, tasks seem to magically morph into easier work:

  1. People Who Do Good Work.
  2. This, is what Ho‘ohana sounds like.
  3. Like it? Might love it? Run with it.

So how can we get passion, if we don’t already have it? Are there concrete, next-stepping action steps we can take?

Joshua Becker suggests 4 of them, and he shared this in his recent newsletter:

The Quickest Shortcut to Influence: Passion.

Passionate people change others. They draw attention. They pique interest. They sell ideas.
…There is something absolutely magnetic when you hear somebody talk with passion—even the most introverted presenter can silence a room when they begin speaking with excitement about something they love.

I have a friend named Jamy who is the single-greatest recruiter I have ever met. She loves children and runs a local, non-profit organization committed to helping kids succeed in life. And she organizes scores of adult volunteers every single week. Her secret to recruitment and influencing adults? You got it, passion! You can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice when she begins talking about the opportunity and need to equip and empower kids.

Exuding passion in your conversation and writing is the quickest shortcut to influence. Before our ideas can influence others, we must believe in them ourselves (become passionate) and learn how to display that passion to others (a natural outflow).

I realize passion is difficult to manufacture—that is what makes it so effective. But there are some things we can intentionally do to increase our passion about any topic:

1) we can focus on the joy it has brought into our lives;
2) we can understand the specific benefits it will bring to others;
3) we can study how others talk about the topic; and
4) we can gain confidence by sharing it with others whenever the possibility arises.

As we do these things, our passion will stir and continue to grow. And as a result, our influence will continue to expand.
~ Joshua Becker

I completely agree with him on this connection between passion and influence: Passion is contagious, and it’s a good contagion; others will more readily follow your lead: Purposeful Following.

Here is the MWA value alignment I would connect to Becker’s 4 suggestions:

1) Hō‘imi to “focus on the joy” and Nānā i ke kumu to look to the source of your best-life connection. Mahalo to continually fortify those feelings, living with appreciation of your elemental gifts.

2) Lōkahi and ‘Ohana to “understand the specific benefits it will bring to others” whom we think of as our co-working partners and teammates.

3) ‘Ike loa and the Daily 5 Minutes to “study how others talk about the topic” understanding how much we can learn from other people.

4) Kākou to “share it with others whenever the possibility arises” in our Language of We, doing so Ho‘ohanohano to “gain confidence” in a way that feels good and right for us.

Once you gather up your intentions in this values-based way, get personal with passion by making it highly actionable: Rewrite Becker’s 4 suggestions in the next-stepping way that feels best for you: Next-stepping and other Verbs. Be specific, writing your action steps in a to-do list conducive to tracking and checking off what you have done.

“The things you are passionate about are not random,
they are your callings.”

— Fabienne Fredrickson

Extra Credit: Consider your passions (yes, they can be plural!) to be the cornerstones of your strengths inventory. Scroll through the titles of our Key 7. Strengths Management category here, and dip into the articles that may offer more coaching for you.


About Rosa Say

Rosa is the author of Managing with Aloha. She’s a writer and photo-taker, a workplace culture coach, and a zealous advocate of managers everywhere. She’s a wife and mom, sister and daughter, manager, leader and worker bee, living the best life she can, just like you. Learn more about Rosa at