When a leader reaches out in passion, he is usually
met with an answering passion.
—John C. Maxwell
Anyone can dabble, but once you've made that
commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it,
and it's very hard for people to stop you.
—Bill Cosby, Comedian
Pizza Sauce Is in His Blood
In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I tell the story of Papa John's Pizza and how the company, founded in 1984 by John Schnatter, grew from 1 to 46 stores in its first seven years and then from 46 to 1,600 in the seven years after that. The phenomenal success the company experienced in the second half was due to the Law of Explosive Growth, which says, "To add growth, lead followers—to multiply, lead leaders." But what was the key to Papa John's success in the first half?
The answer is passion. John Schnatter not only eats Papa John's Pizza; he breathes, sleeps, and lives it. It is always his predominating thought. Lehman Brothers analyst Michael Speiser said of him in Success magazine, "Pizza is Schnatter's life, and he takes it very seriously."
Schnatter's philosophy is simple and straightforward. "Concentrate on what you do well," he advises, "and do it better than anybody else." What he does well is lead the fastest-growing business of its kind in the world. And he enjoys it so much that he is always in the thick of things.
Recently he went to visit a franchise owned by his wife, Annette, in downtown Louisville and found that the store was unexpectedly swamped with orders. What did he do? He jumped in and helped make pizzas for an hour and a half. It's something he loves doing. He visits stores four or five times a week—often unannounced—just to make sure everything is on track.
"Talking about my dreams for a pizza business at age twenty-two, people thought I was crazy," Schnatter has said. "Vendors, bankers and even some friends just laughed when I told them I'd be opening five or six stores a month." Now he regularly opens an amazing thirty stores a month—a new store every day of the year.
And he wants to increase that. A franchise opened in Mexico, and Schnatter has plans to expand into Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and other foreign markets. He doesn't intend to stop until he leads the largest seller of pizza in the world. He just might do it because he loves it and gives it everything he's got.
[THAT’S GOOD TO A POINT, BUT IF YOUR LIFE IS ALL CONSUMED BY EVEN SOMETHING YOU LOVE, YOU ARE OUT OF BALANCE; GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYONE UNBALANCED; THERE ARE OTHER THINGS IN LIFE BESIDES WORK WORK AND WORK; MAYBE THIS PIZZA GUY HAD A BALANCED LIFE, I DO NOT KNOW, BUT PASSION FOR SOMETHING IS FINE, AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT BECOME YOUR “GOD” IN LIFE, FOR THE TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN WANTS YOU TO BE A BALANCED IN YOUR LIVING - Keith Hunt]
Fleshing It Out
Experts spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes people successful. They often look at people's credentials, intelligence, education, and other factors. But more than anything else, passion makes the difference. David Sarnoff of RCA maintains that "nobody can be successful unless he loves his work." If you look at the lives of effective leaders, you will find that they often don't fit into a stereotypical mold. For example, more than 50 percent of all CEOs of Fortune 500 companies had C or C- averages in college. Nearly 75 percent of all U.S. presidents were in the bottom half of their school classes. And more than 50 percent of all millionaire entrepreneurs never finished college. What makes it possible for people who might seem ordinary to achieve great things? The answer is passion. Nothing can take the place of passion in a leader's life.
Take a look at four truths about passion and what it can do for you as a leader:
1. Passion Is the First Step to Achievement
Your desire determines your destiny. Think of great leaders, and you will be struck by their passion: Gandhi for human rights, Winston Churchill for freedom, Martin Luther King Jr. for equality, Bill Gates for technology. [I THINK STEVE JOBS OUTDID BILL GATES BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS - Keith Hunt]
Anyone who lives beyond an ordinary life has great desire. It's true in any field: weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire creates little heat. The stronger your fire, the greater the desire—and the greater the potential.
[YES BUT YOU MUST BE BALANCED IF YOU WALK WITH GOD; AS THEY SAY, YOUY CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU….THE LORD WANTS BALANCED PEOPLE - Keith Hunt]
2. Passion Increases Your Willpower
It is said that a dispassionate young man approached the Greek philosopher Socrates and casually stated, "O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge." The philosopher took the young man down to the sea, waded in with him, and then dunked him under the water for thirty seconds. When he let the young man up for air, Socrates asked him to repeat what he wanted.
"Knowledge, O great one," he sputtered. Socrates put him under the water again, only that time a little longer. After repeated dunkings and responses, the philosopher asked, "What do you want?" The young man finally gasped, "Air. I want air!"
"Good," answered Socrates. "Now, when you want knowledge as much as you wanted air, you shall have it."
There is no substitute for passion. It is fuel for the will. If you want anything badly enough, you can find the willpower to achieve it. The only way to have that kind of desire is to develop passion.
[JESUS SAID “THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, SHALL BE FILLED.” YES HAVE PASSION IN YOUR WORK AND PLAY, BUT NEVER TO THE DETRIMENT OF PASSION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE TRUTHS OF GOD, AND LIVING IT - Keith Hunt]
3. Passion Changes You
If you follow your passion—instead of others' perceptions—you can't help becoming a more dedicated, productive person. And that increases your ability to impact others. In the end, your passion will have more influence than your personality.
[BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PASSION PEOPLE WHO HAVE TERRIBLE PERSONALITY AND LIVE THE “PULL THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER OTHERS” TO FUEL THEIR PASSION…..MISDIRECTED PASSION IS NOT PLEASING TO THE LORD; PASSION FOR THE SAKE OF PASSION IS PASSION GOING THE WRONG WAY - Keith Hunt]
4. Passion Makes the Impossible Possible
Human beings are so made that whenever anything fires the soul, impossibilities vanish. A fire in the heart lifts everything in your life. That's why passionate leaders are so effective. A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and no passion.
[THIS IS ALL CONTEXTUAL….. HILTER HAD GREAT PASSION, AND SEE WHAT THAT GOT HIM AND THE WORLD…..NEED I SAY MORE - Keith Hunt]
Reflecting on It
Despite the power of passion, many people in our culture seem to believe that passion is something to be suspicious about. Sociologist Tony Campolo has observed, "We are caught up at a particular stage in our national ethos in which we're not only materialistic but worse than that; we're becoming emotionally dead as people. We don't sing, we don't dance, we don't even commit sin with much enthusiasm."
[OH BOY….. DID HE EVER GET THAT WRONG….. THE WORLD IS ON A PASSION OF SIN IN EVERY WAY; JESUS SAID BEFORE HE RETURNS “EVIL WILL ABOUND AND THE LOVE OF MANY WILL WAX COLD” - MATTHEW 24 - Keith Hunt]
Is passion a characteristic of your life? Do you wake up feeling enthusiastic about your day? Is the first day of the week your favorite, or do you live from weekend to weekend, sleepwalking through your everyday routine? How long has it been since you couldn't sleep because you were too excited by an idea?
If passion is not a quality in your life, you're in trouble as a leader. The truth is that you can never lead something you don't care passionately about. You can't start a fire in your organization unless one is first burning in you.
[OF COURSE PASSION AT TIMES IS NEEDED; WE COULD CALL IT ENTHUSIASM - WE DO NEED TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC IN WHAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO IN THIS LIFE - Keith Hunt]
Bringing It Home
To increase your passion, do the following:
Take your temperature. How passionate are you about your life and work? Does it show? Get an honest assessment by querying several coworkers and your spouse about your level of desire. You won't become passionate until you believe passion can be the difference maker in your life.
Return to your first love. Many people allow life and its circumstances to get them off track. Think back to when you were just starting out in your career—or even farther back to when you were a child. What really turned your crank? What could you spend hours and hours doing? Try to recapture your old enthusiasm. Then evaluate your life and career in light of those old loves.
Associate with people of passion. It sounds hokey, but birds of a feather really do flock together. If you've lost your fire, get around some firelighters. Passion is contagious. Schedule some time with people who can infect you with it.
[CERTAINLY LEADING A “OH HUMMMM” LACK-LUSTER LIFE IS A DRAG, YOUR MIND WILL BECOME STAGNANT; GOD DOES NOT WANT THAT FOR YOU EITHER - Keith Hunt]
General Billy Mitchell, a career army officer, was assigned to an aviation section in 1916. That's where he learned to fly, and it became the passion of his life. Though aircraft played a minor role in World War I, he could see the military potential of air power. After the war, he began a campaign to convince the military to create an air force. He provided demonstration after demonstration of what airplanes could do, but he met strong resistance. Frustrated, he forced the army to court-martial him in 1925. A year later he resigned. Only after World War II was Mitchell exonerated—and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was willing to pay any price to do what he knew was right. How about you?
PASSION OR ENTHUSIASM IS NEEDED BY ALL CHRISTIANS IN THE CONTEXT OF A BALANCED LIFE, WITHIN THE LAWS OF THE LORD - Keith Hunt.