By Jay Walter, an EO Perth member and general manager of The Rural Building Company Pty Ltd.
Passion! When you read all of the books about management, leadership and the great success stories of various businesses, one common key element is passion. Passion is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling a person has toward something. When I read success stories of businesses that have started and/or grown, the leader and staff behind them were all inspired to be passionate about what they were doing, as it actually meant something to them.
One thing I have in my business is a lot of passionate people. You can put the right people, the best systems and the best practices in place, but without passion, there isn’t going to be a lot of heart in it. As a home builder, I constantly remind people of what we are doing— putting families into homes; homes where families will celebrate events and grow together. Because of this, we have a huge responsibility to take a lot of pride in the work we do and build to the best of our ability. Specifically, to build each home as if it were our own. We’ve bred this culture because our staff spends time with clients during construction to form a connection with the home. I encourage all levels of staff to be engaged with the process so it becomes more personal. As a result, I have a business with a team full of passionate people, all of whom care about what they do.
Passion can be like a drug that leaves you wanting more. In my experience, passion leads to higher levels of performance, better ways of thinking and takes the strain off having to put in place heaps of KPIs to keep people motivated. If people genuinely believe in what they are doing, their motivation is the end result, not a KPI. You can’t lead a horse to water and make it drink, but you sure can make it thirsty!