In the March 2016 Entrepreneur Magazine, there was a great article about  22 Must Have Leadership Qualities.  I found the article to be so powerful that I am spending a few minutes each week thinking about how I can improve these leadership skills myself.  Like most things in life, you get what you focus your attention on.

Here are the leadership qualities I have already discussed:Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 4.40.06 PM
#1   Focus
#2   Confidence
#3   Transparency
#4   Integrity
#5   Inspiration

The next must have leadership quality on the Entrepreneur Magazine list is one that I feel is one of, if not the most important – PASSION!

The Top of My List 
Anyone that’s been around someone or worked with a leader that exudes passion for what they do knows that you can almost see and feel the passion.  You also know that it’s very easy to become motivated by it.  It’s simply contagious and these special leaders are able to encourage and motivate others by simply being so passionate about what they are doing that it’s contagious.

The power of passion can be best illustrated by looking not at leaders that exude passion but by those leaders who lack passion. Think about it… if you have ever known someone, worked with someone or experienced this for yourself; you already know that without passion you can’t have the makings of a great leader.  When faced with an obstacle, leaders lacking passion simply give up, become detached or simply avoid the situation while passionate leaders are excited to rise each morning and tackle any obstacle or difficulty thrown their way.

The impact that the lack of passion can have on the quality of a leader is most evident by reflecting on what the antithesis of passion is – here is a list of my favorites:

Try taking any of the the words listed above and inserting it in one of these sentences:
“A great leader is _____ ” and “I would like to work for a ________ leader.”

You see what I mean? Certainly no one wants to work for a leader that lacks passion and if a leader lacks passion, they are certainly no leader.  While they may be a leader in other situations, in the current position or situation they are in, they have somehow lost their passion or interest and should either take a break to recharge or move on to the next phase of their life that they do have a passion for.  Maintaining a passion for a single job, a specific industry or even company can cause even the most passionate leaders to experience signs and symptoms of burn out.

Passions Burn Bright …. But Sometimes Fade Fast 
One of the biggest challenges that passionate leaders face in that they are so laser focused and passionate about their jobs and careers that they sometimes don’t allow themselves enough down time or time to recharge this passion.  They are burning so bright, like a shooting star streaking across the sky at night, that they soon hit the atmosphere and burn out.  It’s also sometimes difficult for leader’s with a burning passion to find a team that shares the same commitment to task.  This passion sometimes makes it difficult to work for someone that has this type of passion for their job.  Be warned.. if you work for a passionate leader it can be contagious but can also be hard to keep up with them.

How Passion Can Save Us All 

Without this burning desire and motivation for something… be it your career, your family, working out or a hobby…. life can be quite dull and full of mediocrity and dullness.  Anyone that’s ever achieved anything has had something burning deep inside of them that makes them want to rise early in the morning and work through the night to feed this passion.  Be warned though, passion can be a challenging master when it takes so much from us and makes us singularly focused.  However, passion can also be one of the most powerful weapons a leader has when their team is confronted with adversity.

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