Is “Passion” A Positive Or A Negative Attribute At Work?

“Passionate people are solution focused. They tend to see the positives, and seek to build strengths from the negatives. Passion creates drive, innovation and motivation. Without it, people are just
marking time to their pension
“. Jan Barley

Last week, after a series of meetings ( the type of meetings where we constantly “meet’ in order to try to decide what’s the purpose of the meeting !!), I was pretty down. You see, I had been called in as an
external consultant” by the CEO (of a local organisation in the financial services category) to aid the senior management in their strategic planning.

The CEO had rightly identified certain environmental changes which he felt would affect the organisation, down-the-line, and thus, wanted to take those into account in developing the business strategy. He also felt (based on the performance of the organisation in the past year) that, operationally, there was a gap between strategic development and execution.

Cutting a long story short, on the third and final meeting (I closed it out, since up until this point I had not even been given an acknowledgement of payment for my time cost!), I presented the current performance scenario of the organisation,  a snapshot of how the organisation’s key customers were behaving and a small overview of consumer trends and a possible growth opportunity area. The decision to be made was:

  1. Review the Strategic Planning process
  2. Undertake a realistic assessment of performance vis-a-vis business strategy
  3. Identify key operational areas that need to be looked at and the changes needed within those processes

It was at this meeting, presenting the above, when I noticed an utter lack of interest, from three senior managers (including the CEO and CFO there were 5 people in this meeting). This lack of interest led me to the above question.

In order to get a better understanding (and with the thought that I’d want to utilise “passion” in internal communication for the organisation) I posted the above query on Linked In. The responses were not only helpful but frank, forthright and to the point where professionals clearly articulated that if there’s a lack of ‘passion’ its better to walk away from such a contract than to harm one’s reputation.

So here’s the link to the responses (in Linked In):

And it would be helpful to have your comments, opinions, suggestions on this posted on site, here.