Instilling Passion Back Into Our Businesses

For many companies, the last few years have been a long, hard slog for the leaders and employees alike.

  • Raises and bonuses have been minimal.
  • It is more difficult to make good profits and win.
  • Anxiety is high as there is no certainty as to when current weak business conditions will improve.

As a result, many businesses lack the passion and drive that they once had.

Within each of our companies, how can we, as business leaders, re-ignite the enthusiasm, energy, and drive to be the best?

1. Exude Passion Ourselves

Emotions are contagious. If we, as leaders, are negative and generally “dead fishes,” then most of the team will likewise quickly become drained and depleted. Instead, we need to be optimistic, enthusiastic and uplifting because the future of the company (despite all the challenges) will be a lot more positive than the present. How do we know this? Because that is where we are leading the company!!!

2. Spread Our Vision

We need to repeat and repeat our vision and expectations so that they are crystal-clear to all employees. It needs to be certain that good enough performance is no longer good enough. As leaders, we need to lead by example and ensure that our work matches the vision and high expectations that we have set for everyone. As the humanist Albert Schweitzer said:

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. Example is leadership.

3. Thank Our Employees

In survey after survey, employees most value receiving full appreciation for the work that they have done. Despite the hard times, our employees are working hard and doing great things. We need to tell them that we see what they are doing and are grateful for their efforts. We need to find someone doing something right every day… and thank them.

4. Listen to and Value Our Employees’ Ideas

Our employees know what is going on in their jobs and how to improve their job performance better than anyone. As leaders, we need to get out of our offices and listen and interact with our teams. This will show that we are truly striving to improve the company by listening to all ideas on how to improve the company (not just the ideas that we came up with).


By following these four simple steps, we will be well on our way to re-igniting the passion and energy in our business. Little by little, we will begin to receive all the benefits of having a positive, aligned and engaged workforce. And, over time, we will most certainly execute on our vision and win.


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Team / People and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s