The importance of passion

There’s an interesting poll on LinkedIn this week that asks what people think is the most important trait a person needs to succeed in their first job.  Looking at well over 5000 responses to the poll, passion is the most popular selection by an overwhelming margin.

There are other attributes that contribute to success, but most agree that without an interest in, and a passion for, the type of work you do the rest of the attributes are likely to be underutilised.

Interestingly, the poll results are consistent across demographics with respondents from all ages, genders, company size and titles agreeing on the paramount importance of passion.

One thing that sticks out is that respondents in the consulting and sales functions place an even higher importance on passion as a key criteria for success.  Both of those functions rely heavily on influence and, it seems to me, would benefit from the authenticity that passion brings to the table.

Have you ever experienced the futile efforts of a sales person that didn’t believe in his or her own product?

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  1. #1 by Dave Baldwin - April 22nd, 2009 at 06:06

    Great post Roger. I agree with the research and your words. I have found in my setting I need someone who also has a gift of leadership if they are going to be in a leadership role. Passion can only take you so far, then leadership ability needs to kick in.
    I enjoy reading your posts and have learned a lot!

    • #2 by Roger Farnsworth - April 22nd, 2009 at 08:29

      Thanks, Dave. Good point about leadership ability. Some people seem to have the gifts of charisma and influence necessary to move organisations forward. Still, I hold that the best leaders are people who have not only those traits but a strong vision and, as an essential component of success, a passion for the success of that vision. An unmotivated leader can quickly become a Pied Piper leading an otherwise healthy organisation to the river.
      Have a great week!

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