Not long ago, I sat down for a series of talks with Moustafa Hamwi, also known as The Passion Guy, about leadership and how passion feeds good leadership. Fortunately, Hamwi is the perfect embodiment of the kind of passion of which he speaks. Not only has he used it to create his own notable career, his attitude really is contagious! Hamwi and I discussed what happens when there is a lack of passion in an organization. Is it hopeless? Can leaders do anything to prevent loss of passion among team members?

Great Leadership Whatever your mission, passion and positive attitudes are contagious.

Here’s a recap of our discussion, or you can watch the video on YouTube:

John Mattone appearing as a leadership guest on Passion Sundays, the world’s leading passion & happiness talk show 

  • Moustafa Hamwi: And talking about now moving that from just being a passionate leader into creating a culture and that’s going to require a bit of structure and systems around it. What’s the best way for a leader to convey that passion in a structured manner around the organization?
  • Moustafa Hamwi: How worried should a leader be when they start applying passion systems to their organization about people turning out to be not actually a good fit. Because when you start doing this passion work, you’re obviously going to come across people that are not “there,” and if they really wake up to realize that their heart is not there and they just don’t want to be passionate about being here, what’s the best solution?
  • John Mattone: I think it’s a couple of things, the Amazon with Jeff Bezos story that broke about a year ago, about six months ago actually, in The New York Times. I was interviewed for that story by CNN and it was pretty tough. The disgruntled employees were leaving because they didn’t like the evaluation systems that were in place. So, to me, Moustafa, the Amazon culture didn’t fit to those people.

So I think it’s important for companies to make sure that they give a realistic preview, right? To people, about “this is the world that you’re coming into,” and this is what it is like to work in our environment, and give that realistic preview and give people the choice to opt out up front. Obviously, mistakes are going be made, and when somebody doesn’t fit a culture, it’s important that they be exited, honestly, or they make the choice to exit themselves, that’s what I would say.

Passionate Leadership Be clear from the start about what level of commitment and passion is expected in your organization.

  • MH: I totally agree with you. I think in one of the interviews, someone said those are the kind of people you want to give to the competition. Does passion come from knowing your values?
  • JM: Absolutely. Well said! And I would agree with that.
  • MH: A cleanup is not bad. It’s a good thing.
  • JM: It is a good thing.
  • MH: And talking about values, which we touched upon earlier, do you see a match between values and passion? Does passion come from knowing your values?
  • JM: Yes. I would say the three values that drive passion would be being of other-oriented. And again, great leadership when you think about it right, is a function of not being inner-oriented but other-oriented. So the whole value of altruism is so powerful, right? And I think the second value is worthy achievement, making sure that you are committing every day, that those things that are going to move the needle in the world. Whatever your pursuit is, you got to make sure you are moving the needle in an effective way and something is adding value. And I think the third is, to the extent that you can build up abundant relationships and I think those three values, if we were all to live by those values every single day it would be an energetic, energized, passionate, unleashed world. That’s what we need.
  • MH: I love that! The obvious passion and energy. Thank you very much.
  • JM: Thank you.
  • MH: I’m sure you all enjoyed and loved this talk with a passionate leadership coach. He is phenomenal, so John, thank you very much for having us here.
  • JM: My pleasure!

Everyone, of course, has the occasional “off” day, but what are the consequences when lack of passion for the mission is endemic? I invite you to explore my corporate culture services and learn some of your options for turning things around and creating the dream team you always knew your group was capable of being.

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