Want to Lead a Passionate Team? Start With These Five Steps

Beth Miller |

Whenever someone enters a leadership role, they have dreams of building highly effective and passionate teams. They want their employees to look up to them and feel pride in their own work, and feel pride in their leadership. This is almost always easier dreamed than done, but passionate leaders can effectively draw passion from their own teams by following a these five steps:

One: Know the Difference Between Engagement and Passion

Employee engagement has become a popular goal for corporate leaders. Engaged employees are committed to the mission and vision of the organization, but engagement generally does not have a great deal of impact on performance.

Passion, on the other hand, goes beyond engagement. Passionate employees are energized, engaged, and enthusiastic. That enthusiasm is typically contagious and can have a positive effect on a team and on customer relationships.

Two: Be a Role Model

Drawing out passion in employees begins at the top. Leaders and managers must model passion if they ever hope to create passionate teams.  Employees will always model the behavior of their managers, which is why it is so critical for leaders to be self-aware at all times and understand what they are projecting to their employees each day.

Three: Know Your Team

No matter how hard you try, you cannot, as a leader, make someone passionate. Passion comes from within. What you can do, as a leader, is understand your team members on an individual level. Know what makes them feel valuable to the organization, what motivates them to do a good job, and why they like doing what they do each day.

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Four: Recognize Passion When You See it

There are visible cues that go along with passion. When an employee is truly excited about what they are doing, they’ll let you know in their body language, the way they talk, and the way they interact with others.  Leaders must be able to recognize when they see an employee exhibiting passion and be sure to acknowledge it.

Five: Explore That Behavior

When you recognize passion in an employee, talk to them about it so that you can identify precisely what it is that they have tapped into. If you noticed that one of your team members seemed genuinely excited about a project, for example, ask that person to tell you which elements of the project got them so excited, and why. Use that information when assigning future projects to help keep employees feeling that passion in the future.

Cultivating a passionate team takes time, and it takes leaders who are plugged in to the needs and motivations of their team. With a bit of effort, and commitment to results, passionate leaders can help their employees tap into their own passions and become much more energized and productive in the workplace.

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Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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