The guests that come on The Athletics of Business podcast all have one thing in common in addition to their considerable successes in sports and in business — they are all truly passionate about what they do. I love that I have the chance to witness their passion when they talk to me about their careers, and I want to expand a little on that experience right now and really dig into why is passion important for success. When you feel that what you do is meaningful, you have a passion for it, and you want to have a positive impact on people, then you multiply your chances of success in your field. 

Within every successful and authentic leader, there is a passion for what they do; usually, they aren’t performing their role for the glory of it or even the financial windfall. People are there because they’re passionate about the story they’re trying to tell and how they can support their team to reach goals they never dreamed of. The passion and commitment are the ‘why’ of the genuine elite leader.

Why is Passion Important for Success

Purpose and Passion

Purpose and passion are such important catalysts when forming an elite, mentally tough leadership mindset. And the most challenging thing with that is that we have purpose and passions that change over time.  You have to take the time to actually look at what your passion is and what your purpose is to be able to lead successfully. 

For most people in today’s society, with the challenges we’re all facing, they need to find what that purpose is to continue to learn and grow. Taking ownership of your passion and developing it to a level where it influences others is such a great thing to do, but it’s something that takes work. 

If you start with your passion and use it as the touchstone, you keep coming back to have ownership over where you want to go. You can shift your mindset and your focus to achieving your goals by making those conscious decisions and taking the steps that will get you to where you and your team want to be. 

But passion doesn’t protect you from the pitfalls along the way; there will be moments when you feel you have failed but remember that we learn through adversity; it’s how we grow and develop. Your passion for your team, your organization, and your business should help you overcome and keep emotional control. The one big thing that passion and purpose deliver is resilience to continue on to the next level and to have more faith in yourself than fear of what’s around the corner. It allows you to build that mental strength as a leader that you’re constantly reinforcing throughout your life through your experiences. 

Your passion for your niche and your faith that you will make it to the next level in your business, combined with a growth mindset and positive energy empowers you with laser focus. 

Finding Strength Through Passion

I see passion exemplified by many people I interact with. One such person is Rob “Fireman Rob” Verhelst, a firefighter and key motivational influencer worldwide who has guested on my podcast. His life experiences range from performing 8 days of search and recovery after the September 11th attacks to being a 15-year career firefighter in Madison, Wisconsin to having served in the United States Air Force.  In 2015, Fireman Rob became the Guinness World Record Holder for the Most Ironman 70.3 Triathlons in one year, while inspiring tens of thousands by doing each run portion in his full fire gear. 

Fireman Rob hit the nail on the head when he said, “life doesn’t get easier; you just get stronger when you follow your passion.” Making the conscious decision to turn towards what drives you allows you to be vulnerable and build genuine connections with your team. Developing your leadership skills helps you to move forward in an impactful way. Following your passions may not give you instant gratification, but it will get you well on the way to creating long-term sustainable success on a grand scale. 

You don’t have to be on the biggest stage to make the most significant impact. As we think about that in our world, whether it be the business world, the sports world, or in our home life leading ourselves, quick fixes are not what leadership is all about. Leadership success is not about social media; it’s not always making the big public splash and being in someone’s face; there are quiet moments. Through your passion and purpose, you want to give the people you lead something to sustain, something that will hold them, and something that they can pay forward that will multiply the impact you had on them.

For more insight into why is passion important for success and other information into how to develop as a leader, check out the rest of the blog series or tune in to The Athletics of Business podcast, where I discuss all aspects of leadership with a variety of inspiring leaders from the world of sports and business.