I just completed an early morning Skype call with an entity in the UK – my first ever meeting with this client. The focus of our initial meeting was really to set the stage for our upcoming coaching and mentoring relationship, but also to identify some of the critical items we need to accomplish during our time of working together.
One thing in particular stood out to me about the two individuals I met with, and that was the level of passion they carried about their initiative. Their initiative happens to be something quite innovative in the UK that they are planning to scale up from one city to two others initially, and eventually replicate nationally and beyond. Throughout our meeting I continued to read and feel their enthusiasm and deep care and passion for their work – this was noticed in their body language and their verbal communication.
Reflecting on this first meeting I found myself thinking about the role of passion. How important is passion? Does passion help us build our businesses and scale up? Can we do this without passion? Is passion enough to carry us?
My view is that passion is a huge asset and that we need to have a certain amount of passion within our businesses and particularly as entrepreneurs. If we don’t care about what we’re doing and it doesn’t resonate with something deep within our values, we will be less able to “stick with it” during challenging times and in crises. However, passion alone will only carry us for so long. What else is required?
Executive Coaching for Competence and Market Need
Regardless of how passionate you are, if there is not a need in the marketplace for what you offer, you will not be successful. You can be passionate and have an identified niche market, but you also need to have expertise and competence. Alan Weiss calls this the “juncture of three critical paths” where we need passion, market need and competence if we are going to achieve success. As such, if I am going to coach this new client effectively, I partly need to make sure we are adequately focusing on the market need and ensuring there is internal competence to deliver, in addition to the incredible passion that is currently driving a lot of their forward movement.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Assess your key leadership team – where do passion and competence emerge and are they adequate?
- How certain are you of the market need for your products and services?
- Evaluate as a team the extent to which your passion, market need and competence are aligning and consider what adjustments might be needed in order to better align. If one of these three critical things is missing, be sure to address it quickly.
Cameron is an Executive Coach and Consultant specializing in business growth and workplace mental health.
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