Chapter 1A Foundation of Passion

Passion is joy in action for an enduring period. Passion is joy in action for an enduring period. Passion therefore cannot exist without joy, action, and endurance. Passion without joy is work. Passion without action is a dream. Passion without endurance is a phase. True passion must be informed by joy, action, and endurance.


Perhaps the biggest challenge in creating a peak performance culture is identifying, cultivating, and continuing passion. There are many threats to operational excellence – toxic leadership, poor strategies, misaligned policies and practices, mediocre customer experiences, less than stellar employee experiences – but none is so prevalent as lack of passion. I am forever struck by the number of people who spend over one‐third of their lives engaged in activities (work) from which they derive so little joy. As Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”

If you consider that work and sleep combine to consume about two‐thirds of our life – and that the preparation and recovering from each will expend another sizable chunk – we have precious little time left over to engage in activity for which we are passionate. It is hard to imagine that doing the laundry, grocery shopping, getting your oil changed, mowing the lawn, and all the other activities most of us spend our “free” time doing will provide an avenue for our passion. Therefore, our vocation offers us the best opportunity ...

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