There are many avenues that individuals may take in order to lead their flock in a desired direction. However, not all paths create the same anticipated effect.
We have all heard of the “21 Qualities of a Leader” or “The Pathway to Leadership,” and they both have similar suggested attributes to becoming a successful leader. Although there are many strong leadership qualities, the one that strikes me the most is passion.
Without passion, you have a leader who leads without emotion. We have all seen leaders who stand in front of their spectators and drone on about monotonous topics and ideas, yet there is no feeling or excitement behind the voice. Their speech leaves no impact. There is no inspiration, no stimulation, and no effect, and the yawns can be felt throughout the room.
What quality do these leaders lack? Passion. Passionate leaders will capture the attention of all their followers. We have seen passion in the movies when, during a catastrophic event, an individual will come forth and inspire others to follow them into the unforeseen. Passion in a sense is infectious. It spreads from one individual to the next, creating a rippling effect in its path.
I have had the privilege of listening to an exemplary military leader, former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Bob Gaylor. His drive and passion have continuously motivated me to strive toward being a model NCO. His selfless, thought provoking and insightful ideas mold his listeners to want to go forth and hug their significant others, kiss their children and proceed with the missions ahead.
Real passion provides inspiration, and this is exactly what I felt during many of Gaylor’s speeches. It is not about making you feel good, it is about motivating you to press on and continue. When leaders are truly passionate, their followers will feel their vision and embark on their journey with them. Always remember, without passion you cannot be a great leader.