What Real Passion Looks Like
If I had a dollar for every time I saw "passion" as an organisational value I wouldn't be writing this crummy blog. Everyone from the smallest plumbing firm to the largest multi-national likes to talk about their company's passion. It's a word over-used past the point of cliche and since it's often delivered by clock-punchers its a downright lie.
Outside the corporate world passion still means a burning desire, something that powerfully and emotionally moves you and I witnessed it with a conference I helped MC this weekend. The organisation was AFS and its largely volunteer. The connection most of the volunteers have with AFS is shared positive experience - they have been on an AFS trip abroad, hosted AFS exchange students themselves or both. And it means something to them, something that sees them devote hours of unpaid time to their, actual, passion.
For these folks there is no paycheck; the rewards they reap aren't monetary they are the benefits of human connection, learning and understanding. These rewards move people.
That's why, after 26 years of being involved in conferences I saw 3 speakers or awrd recipients cry. They cried with actual passion for their work and with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences they gained from AFS. I've never seen this happen before - but I've heard hundreds of people talk in conferences about passion.
It was genuinely inspiring to see that there does exist, in some organisations, that real passion. It's something the marketers, branding experts and hollow corporate thinkers can only dream about. It was a privilege to witness.