Several great leaders have advised us to follow our passion, listen to the heart; and loads of research have been done to prove that passion added to the intention produces great results. Hence, it’s a no-brainer that leaders try to build a team that is passionate about a cause and they try to connect the dots to show a bigger picture to their teams to fire up the passion in the team and produce superior results. While this is conventional wisdom, I do not think, it’s pragmatic to believe that everyone in the team will love what they do. And secondly, it is not possible to keep everyone enthused and excited about the team’s goals.
People take up a responsibility or a vocation or a task because that could be the best choice available to them at that point of time. They keep at it until they find something better or closer to what they like at that point in time. Secondly, many people do not know what they really love and what their internal calling is. They keep exploring various things in life until they settle down on one. Last but not the least, people may have multiple areas of interest and they are equally passionate about more than just one thing. What can a leader do given this context? Should he still look for people who believe in the cause and pluck them to build a team? Should he dispel people who do not align with the goals? Should he keep harping on the goals with the belief that people will find their own ways of reaching the goal on their own because they are all passionate about the goal?
The leader has a task at hand now! He needs to make the right choice! First of all, he needs to accept the fact that everyone in the team won’t be equally passionate about the goals and purpose. So, it’s not practical to keep searching for souls who have a deep belief in a cause. Many a times, we find that believers in a cause might lack in certain critical skills that are required to succeed. And at times, we do come across highly spirited people and having equally strong preferences about the ways to achieve the results. Indian independence movement had many believers and supporters; not all of them believed in the practices such non-violence, diversity in faiths and languages are going to work for us. So, the leader needn’t be obsessed with having a team that has members equally passionate about the cause. Rather, it could land one in dysfunctionality if the team members have strong views about the ways in which a task has to be accomplished. Hence, the leader needs a bunch of souls who relate to the overall purpose of the team. That’s all!
The leader must have a clarity of the team’s purpose, he needs to keep communicating it and checking if the folks in the team are relating to the purpose and behaving in a way that shows their excitement about the purpose. If someone loses the connection with whatever is going on, it is important to identify it quickly and drop off that person who could soon be the baggage to be carried along! Many managers and leaders fail in one or more of the steps here due to several reasons. It is a hard practicethat one perfects over time. There isnt an easy way!