The debate on whether passion is more valuable than talent, or vice-versa, has been going on for a long time now. As an employer, what are you rooting for? What do you prefer – a passionate team or a talented one?
Passion towards work has gained importance in the professional world in recent years. Talent can be acquired and skills can be developed, but if you don’t feel the passion for what you do, it will show in your work, in your attitude and in the overall product. The market is rife with cut throat competition and business leaders are just not looking at your skills anymore. Here’s what you need to know:
Talent and passion
Working with passion or working so you could pay your bills? Which one would you like better? According to Deloitte, up to 87.7 percent of the American workforce lacks passion for their work. Dispassionate team members are often disengaged, and that affects the morale and functioning of the entire team.
The business world today runs on results and products. The author of Passion Culture: The World’s Most Valuable Asset, Paul Alofs, advises employers and team leaders to discover the beliefs of a candidate at the interview stage to see if they align with the company’s business vision and values. This is the time to see if their passions are compatible with the ethos of your business model. What inspires them and if that fits your criteria is important.
Samuel Pierpont Langley was a 19th century astronomer and physicist who wanted to be the first man to fly an airplane. A well-connected rich man, he had all the resources at his perusal to achieve his goal. Around the same time, Orville and Wilbur Wright were working on their own airplane. At this point, the Wright Brothers were not famous, didn’t have much money, had minimal resources and even lacked a good college education. But on December 17, 1903, they became pioneers of the world’s first airplane.
How did they manage to succeed when they were up against the best resources and a skilled team? According to Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, what made all the difference was passion. He wrote, “The Wright brothers were able to inspire those around them and truly lead their team to develop a technology that would change the world.”
A moment of introspection
Take a moment and look through your own work history. Remember that one project that you absolutely loved or the one where the team leader was so motivating at every step. Wasn’t it a great learning experience? Now think, did you work harder for such projects? Did you put in more hours? Did you go that extra mile? Was there even an iota of frustration looming over your head? Was work fun for you at that time compared to any other project? Think of how you were not going by just the bare minimum to get by. That makes all the difference. It was not just work that had to be done for its sake, it was passion.
Passion is crucial. A passionate team is the difference between an ordinary output and an extraordinary product that the people will remember.