A Passion For Leadership
Recently I was
being interviewed by a high performing Director in a Fortune 500 company looking
for an executive coach. As part of our get acquainted conversation, it became
clear to me that there were no obvious roadblocks, gaps, or blind spots in this
individual’s resume. His credentials came well documented as a respected leader
in his personal and professional life. He was choosing leadership development
at this point in his career as an enhancement to what was already working
well. As I inquired more about what he would want from a coaching
relationship, he began to share about his passion for contributing his skills
and leadership to the business. He knew he had the ability to attract, engage
and influence others. He was looking for a partner to help him strategize and
utilize these skills to effect the greatest value. He saw the current
environment and organizational challenges crying out for leadership at every
He wanted to be a catalyst for leadership change, a role model for others in
Pause. I am trying not to drool. I am stunned, awed, enrolled. He had me at
“passion for leadership”. I would have coached him for free.
operative word here is “passion.” How many of our rising corporate stars are
actually passionate about leadership? Business stakeholders have come to
understand the value of leadership skills and characteristics, even to investing
in programs (thank goodness for me!) designed to advance these competencies in
their high potential players.
passion is not a learned skill. It is a personal inner motivation and
determination that has us excited to get up in the morning. Passion is an
intangible drive or need to fulfill on a tangible dream. Passion gives power,
energy and meaning to our lives. In his book Awaken the Giant Within,
Tony Robbins suggests, “There is no greatness without a passion to be great,
whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent or
Nothing extraordinary has ever been accomplished without passion. And yet, like
everything else I’ve found that is important for success, there is a caution
against indulging in or obsessing on one’s passion to the exclusion of other
values in life. Passion on steroids burns out every one in its path. Like
everything else, passion requires discernment to be effective in the long term.
The art is having the wisdom to use one’s passion to create effectively, to
keep one’s passion aligned with the bigger picture of what you want for your
life, the organization, etc. That’s where the skill and coaching is useful.
Today’s post is not to suggest that everyone should be passionate about
leadership, but that we all have some seed of passion about something in our
lives that wants to be expressed. Our passions are always accompanied by
emotions such as excitement, joy, gratitude, even a profound spiritual
physiological experience. What area of leadership are you passionate about that
is yearning for expression in your life?
If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current hiring needs,
We encourage your participation and comments.
Jane Lawson, a Master Certified
Coach and Associate of The McNeill Group, resides in The Woodlands, Texas.
Steps to Creating a Successful Multi-Generational Workforce
A combination of generations in the workplace can
be a successful venture but only if all sides are
willing to comply with one another. Older
generations have built a career on the knowledge
and experiences they have gained. Newer
generations, often fresh out of college, think
they know everything. They have spent the previous
four years studying in a higher learning
institution and have earned their place, no matter
the starting position, in your company. In order
for a multi-generation workforce to garner respect
from one another and become assets to the company,
they must possess an acceptance and the
willingness to learn from one another.
Do not let age deceive you or
become the basis of the opinion you form of an older or younger employee or
coworker. As the age of retirement is consistently pushed upwards, more and more
"baby boomers" are staying in the workforce and all but demanding a certain
level of respect they have worked so hard to establish.
Sizing up a coworker based on
their age is a fruitless venture. Focus on the person's attributes and
contributions to the company rather than age.
Focusing on age tells you nothing
about your coworker except maybe they are too young to be the next leader of our
country or that they may have amassed a clan of grandchildren. More importantly,
it won't help you establish a line of communication or show you how to work
alongside one another in a productive manner. In order to create an industrious
working relationship and workforce, you will need to focus on the information
that pertains to the contributions you can make to the company together.
The Assessment Report
The assessment report contains
vital information necessary in building a strong, multi-generational working
relationship. The assessment report will tell you what the other persons values
are, what motivates them to take action and the personal skills they bring to
the job at hand. Taking the time to read the assessment report will hand you
details about your coworker that you never would have taken into account based
on their age. Look for these characteristics.
- Hands on
- Personal accountability
- Takes initiative
- Gets the job done
- Able to focus
- Makes steady contributions
- Natural team builder
- Embraces new ideas
- Willingness to learn new skills
- Capable of decision making
Making the Adjustment
With a better understanding of
your coworker it is time to come together and compromise. All people, no matter
their generation have a preferred method of communication. Older generations
tend to be more "stuck in their ways" so to speak, so it may be more conducive
for the younger generation to make a larger adjustment when it comes to
communication. At least at first.
You know how you communicate the
best. After reading your coworker's assessment report, you have a better
understanding of which communications methods work best for them and which ones
they prefer. Make establishing an open and constructive line of communication
between generations a priority. Find your common ground and work from there.
Once an open line of
communication has been established, determining how you can boost and compliment
one another's job performance will appear easy. You may realize that your
coworker from an older generation has a library of experience and has the tools
it takes to complete the project at hand. A coworker from the older generation
can learn new techniques and styles from the newer generation. Combining these
two aspects as well as others can create an explosive new way to enhance one's
job skills making contributions to the company excel.
Not only will one generation
benefit from the next, the company as a whole will benefit profitably and
If you have any questions about this article, or about how
we can help you with your current hiring needs, contact us today!
We encourage your participation and comments.
Quantum Leader Archives
career as a
Business and Executive Development Coach is a natural evolution of 25 years
experience in sales, operations, marketing and management development. As CEO
and owner of a $5,000,000 Corporate Travel Management company for over 14 of
those years, she is intimately experienced in the multitude of challenges in the
lives of people in leadership positions. In 1990, Jane sold her company and
shifted her career path from developing business to developing people. Over the
past 16 years, Jane has partnered with hundreds of entrepreneurs and executives
who are committed to their own personal and professional success. Her focus is
on behavioral coaching as it relates to personal and professional leadership
while maximizing results for her clients and their organizations.
The McNeill Group consistently provides clients with tangible results by achieving and exceeding measurable goals. Having been in business for over 15
years, we know that our success is wholly dependent upon the success of our clients.
use power wisely is the final test of leadership. Thus, the first rule in the
game of power (or life) and, in fact, the only hard and fast rule in the entire
game is: POWER MUST BE THE SERVANT; IT MUST NOT BE THE MASTER!