The Pirate’s School of Leading With Passion

passion love it here
They love it here. Now if they’d only do some work!

A successful crew needs commitment and motivation. Sadly, those aren’t spontaneous traits. A crew needs a leader with vision and passion to lead and inspire them. Success doesn’t happen just because people work from 8 to 5. It happens when they understand and believe in their purpose at the job, whether they’re actively working or not. I realize it’s heretical, but success requires that people actually like what they do.

This requires a leader who can communicate a vision. After all, the whole point of leadership is to be able to guide people in the direction of your particular vision. If you’re in business for yourself, this communication helps your “crew” of loyal followers find you. It’s a blend of highly successful leadership styles.

What do you see?
Tell me what you see.

First, start with charisma. Sure, it sounds all touchy-feely, but a charismatic leader is more than a cheer leader. This job requires maturity and wisdom, beyond top-notch communication skills, humility (so you can listen to your people), the power to make decisions, and of course, the substance to prove oneself to be more than just a pretty face. Charismatic leaders focus on the positive in their people, encouraging them to build on what they already have.

But you can’t stop there. Blend in some transformational leadership skills. This allows you to anticipate problems, strategize effectively, and roll with the changes. This requires elaborate planning, with a goal toward improvement. It also requires constant communication with your people: emphasizing your vision, recognizing your crew, and inspiring positive change. It’s a lot to put on one person, which is why your passion is so important.

It's okay for others to inspire you, too.
It’s okay for others to inspire you, too.

The level of interaction is much higher than traditional leadership, because this new blend of leader wants the best from the crew – the most excitement, the most passion. Why? Because passion (aka, strong belief in purpose) leads to increased confidence and engagement. People are willing to try more things, try new things, and go the extra mile to make things work. Your crew is motivated, not subdued.

Despite the obvious advantages, this leader is a rare blend. The last time the world saw this kind of leadership in any number was…well, the Golden Age of Piracy. How do you put all this passion into practice? Wherever you are as a leader, these reminders will take you further:

  • Earn the support of people who share your passion, even if they aren’t involved. A loyal crew member could be a parent, significant other, or the pet that sleeps on your feet as you work. Think beyond staff.
  • Give yourself visual reminders of what you’re working toward, to maintain your own level of passion. Simple works: a coffee mug or a poster, maybe.
  • Recognize your own achievements along the way. Gain another 50 Twitter followers organically? Give yourself a pat on the back and grab a beer!
  • Expand your horizons and constantly seek out others who can help you, or who might be able to benefit from help you could give. (For example, you could share this post on Twitter or Facebook…yes, it was a subtle hint.)

Communicate your vision and share your passion. Start by communicating here – use the handy comment button and let the world know what your vision is!

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