“Imagine if, rather than complaining about complacency, lack of collaboration, and lack of enthusiasm, leaders made an effort to consistently communicate their passion.” — Misti Burmeister
Do you get tired of talking about your passions? About your vision, or the ultimate outcome you’re striving to achieve? If so, maybe you’ve lost the excitement that drew you to this work in the first place.
Case in point: Every time I’ve been to Mexico (which is twice), I’ve participated in the freeing of the turtles. At night, the big sea turtles come to the beach and bury their eggs one or two feet beneath the surface.
During the summer months, the little eggs grow, hatch, and make their way to the ocean all on their own. But during winter (which I don’t think Mexico’s allowed to even say they have, with their enviable 70-degree averages), the little guys wouldn’t survive without the help of tourists and locals, who come every night to gather the eggs and replant them under a large plastic canopy, keeping them safe from predators and the cold.
When I vacationed in Mexico a couple weeks ago, I decided to help out again. I arrived at the beach to find a couple dozen turtles in little fenced-in areas and lots of people gathered around them, oohing and aahing.
Noticing some action in the tent, I quickly made my way inside, where I discovered a woman, Francesca, who was on her knees digging into a hole, pulling out baby turtles. Most of them were fully hatched, though some needed a bit more time to shed their shells completely. Those she set to the side.
As I stood there watching her, Francesca answered all my questions about the little guys – why volunteers set up the tent, why it’s important to help the turtles, why they only need this support during winter months, and why people release them at this time of day. Moments later, more tourists entered the tent, all with the same questions – which Francesca patiently and passionately answered again and again.
During the 10 minutes I stood there, Francesca repeated herself a dozen times, answering each question as if it was the first time she’d ever heard it.
Soon after the release, I commented about how many times she’d repeated herself. Francesca’s response blew me away: “If I ever get tired of repeating myself, I will go do something else. People have questions. They want to understand why we do this. Our success depends on their interest. If I don’t show my passion and answer all their questions, they won’t care about these turtles, which we need to help rebalance sea life.”
Imagine if all leaders saw themselves as responsible for the passion of their people the way Francesca sees herself as responsible for the passion (and, therefore, support) of the tourists. Imagine if, rather than complaining about complacency, lack of collaboration, and lack of enthusiasm, leaders made an effort to consistently communicate their passion.
Energy spreads like wildfire. What’s yours like so far this year?
Join the Conversation: How are you communicating your passion to your team every single day?
Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations, Hidden Heroes and Power Suck.