I wrote yesterday that the success formula is ‘ Be passionate but buy the damned ticket’. I have more on passion today.
An hilarious Dilbert/Scott Adams says that passion has become a meaningless word. A Business Insider article of 13 February by Richard Felloni nails down the summary of his conversation with Adams: “When a successful person is interviewed, and you say, ‘What was the secret to your success?’ what they can’t say, because society won’t let them, is: ‘I was smarter, I worked harder, I had better connections, and I got really lucky,'” Adams told Felloni, of the Business Insider. “Instead, they go with a democratic trait: passion.”
(Thanks to the privileged mind of David Siegel for pointing in the direction of this post)
Passion is not enough. Actually Scott Adams book ‘How to fail at almost everything and still win big’ has a chapter bluntly entitled ‘Passion is bullshit’.
I would hate to discourage passion. Actually, I won’t do this to anybody. Not to my kids anyway. But if passion is the fuel, a great fuel, the most fantastic fuel you can ever had, or God has given you, congratulations, you still need the vehicle. The ‘all you need is passion’ stuff is a fraud, misleading.
Scott Adams would say, ‘you need a system’, that is, a way of working it out, and, I would add, working pretty hard.
In organizational life – and I think I have pointed this out a few times here – you need an equal dose of passion and ‘a system’. I despair about writers and ‘change gurus’ suggesting that all it comes down to engaging people who are the passionate, the change makers, the mavericks, the volunteers. With No Plan?. Or at least no serious plan?.
In Viral Change™, one of the principles we have is called ‘Designed Informality’. It means, we shape cultures via large-scale behavioural change in a way that does not require the top-down system of meetings, workshops and formal structures. It’s all very informal. But, don’t be fooled, it’s all very well crafted, designed and orchestrated.
I continue to believe (passionately) that the model for people mobilization, employee engagement and culture shape/change is the social movement, the political movement, not the Kotterian mechanistic ‘steps’ that business has so willingly engaged with.
All these models (social movement, political marketing/campaigning) are full of passionate people. With two other things: a plan, and working overtime.