Not long ago I spent time with the Passsionpreneur Moustafa Hamwi in Dubai talking about “Passionate Leadership.” Moustafa is based in Dubai and is known globally as The Passion Guy due to his amazing success in launching platforms that are empowering leaders to work & live passionately including a series of Passion Talks; and Passion Sundays the leading passion & happiness talkshow online where this interview was extracted from. He credits passion as the force behind every major impact in the world and believes (as do I) that the passionate and fulfilled person overflows with motivation, inspiring others and making positive change into reality. Hamwi and I first discussed someone else known for his passionate approach to business, technology, and life: Steve Jobs, who I had the privilege of coaching at one time.
Authentic passion fuels successful leadership.
Here’s some of our Q and A session, and you can watch the interview video too
John Mattone appearing as a leadership guest on Passion Sundays, the world’s leading passion & happiness talk show
Moustafa Hamwi: We’re talking about someone [Jobs] who is known to be “the man” on leadership. The first thing I’ll ask you about, is how does passion make a good leader?
John Mattone: Passion starts in the heart and we just don’t have enough leaders out there, Moustafa, who operate from the heart. It’s a feeling. You know, we are so intellectual. In fact, I made the point today that we have – really, honestly – almost too much intelligence. We have got to shift if we are going to be moving people to a much stronger mode of leadership, where leaders are operating from their heart, where they can touch the hearts and minds of others.
MH: OK, I definitely have to ask this question. You’ve had the opportunity to coach and work with Steve Jobs, who to me is one of the top passionate people in the world. What have you got to say about his passion and how did that make him a successful leader?
JM: The thing that I learned in two coaching sessions with him were his real differentiators: his creativity, his innovation, his comfort with being uncomfortable, as being disruptive and, thinking outside the box, never resting on laurels, continuous improvement, and all that energy he brought to Apple and the world. I think that’s his legacy, you know, in addition to the creativity was the passion for breaking the comfort zone. If you look to the Apple culture that exists today, Moustafa, it absolutely was formed when he came back in 1997 after that heroic speech in Cupertino, California because he communicated to his people that, “It’s time to think differently and think big.” So, you talk about passion, right? That’s what I would say.
Passion is contagious.
MH: This brings us to an important question: How do you transfer that passion? Because there are a lot of passionate people. But the characteristic of a leader is someone who is able to get all of this through to other people around them. So how can somebody convey and take that passion from an individual – a leader on top – and transfer it to others?
JM: It’s a great point and again we have a huge gap out there and I know you have seen it too. You need authenticity. I think we need to start to see leaders who are real. You know, I mentioned today the CEO of Genpact, Tiger Tyagarajan. What an absolutely amazing CEO! Fifty-four years old, running Genpact, 60,000 employees, and I sit down with him and he is perspiring and he is so excited talking about the privilege to lead people and have an impact on their families. I was worried that he was getting sick, but in reality he told me- “Listen! How are people going to be passionate about Genpact unless I show passion?” We need more leaders who are not afraid to be passionate. Be a role model. I think also when you look at passion it’s going to come from giving people the sense that they believe they have the skills and capability to drive the business forward. That’s going to give passion and motivation. Then, I think a sense of being connected and aligned with the mission. That’s going to drive passion.