I am in New York City and saw the show “Jersey Boys” on Broadway last night, which, incidentally, I highly recommend. Everytime I see one of these shows with world-class actors, I am reminded of people who are doing what they truly love to do. Not only does their passion show in every song and dance routine, but I felt as if it was opening night, knowing well this was the same show these same actors perform for months on end. What passion and energy in live music and drama!
Of course, I begun to draw some parallels to from this kind of performance to workplace performance. How many of us show up to work like it’s our first day? Yes, that first day when the excitement is exhilarating and the positive possibilities seem infinite? That first day when we think we can truly make the new place of work better? I was once told that it takes a new employee somewhere around 90 days to go native. That is to say, to lose that passion and begin to forget that passion and get into a routine. You know the routine. Show up and do your job. Take a few risks here and there but never rock the boat. Where does that passion go for most workers and how is it that these actors on Broadway never lose it?
I am sure you can come up with your own answers, or excuses. Passion is an emotion, and like all emotions, they are transient. Harnessing them, therefore, requires effort. The only exception is if you are doing what you love to do where you love to do it. This makes it easier to harness that emotion of passion. As we begin this week the last month of the year, I encourage you to take inventory of how routine your days are, and how often you feel like it’s your first day at work? And if you’re a leader, how often do your employees feel like it’s their first day and how often you observe them being passionate about what they do. Start to think about how 2011 could be the best year of your life, if you are able to harness your passion more often.