I read this on writer Seth Godin’s blog:

“Passion comes from feeling needed, from approaching mastery, from doing work that matters.”

The standard advice is to find work you are passionate about and pursue it. Godin says that kind of work doesn’t start that way.

The three conditions laid out here have merit:

  • Feeling needed. It comes when the team remains open to new people, and an atmosphere of connection exists. If passion has a chance to be kindled, organization leaders are responsible for creating an environment where passion can bloom.
  • Approaching mastery. Passion grows as skill develops, and you use your talent. It’s ideal when one can look back, see how much they’ve grown, and look forward to seeing further opportunities for growth. That’s the path of the master. It inspires mastery.
  • Work that matters. No one flourishes if the work has no purpose. Great work occurs when the environment creates opportunities to make a difference. I’m passionate when my doing something well results in a benefit for someone else. I make a difference when the fruit would not have been the same without me.

Godin’s words speak to me as one who desires passion in his work. It also speaks to me as a leader who knows that passionate people will make us great.