Issue No. 324 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting recommends a very thin—very persuasive—book on passion in leadership with 12 ways to know if it’s time to leave your current position. Number 12: “Your heart has left the building.” And this reminder: subscribe here for Drucker Mondays, as 52 guest writers share their favorite quotes and commentary from the new book, A Year With Peter Drucker.
When Your Passion Has Left the Building
Hear, hear! Time for some high fives and Starbucks cards for this week’s author, Hans Finzel. Three reasons:
High Five No. 1: If there was an award for the most impact per page—Finzel would win the trophy. (Hans, you nailed the point in just 73 short pages. Others would wring the guts out of the subject—at triple the page count.) Thank you!
High Five No. 2: My goodness—you bared your soul and it makes us listen even more thoughtfully. (Transparency times three.) Thank you!
High Five No. 3: You talked to us—you didn’t talk down to us. And the value-added links to extraordinary materials—superb! (Check out the 18 “Passion Piranhas” out to get your heart.) Thank you!
Finzel begins with Proverbs 4:23 in the NIV: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” He confesses, “It was time for a change. I used to find fulfillment in my career, but not anymore. I needed to start paying attention to my heart.”
Then he grabs your throat with this: “…the higher you go in leadership, the more the heart counts. People do not enjoy working for mechanical micromanagers or passive worn out leaders—they love following leaders who lead from their place of passion.”
That’s the stuff of The Power of Passion in Leadership: Lead From Your Heart, Not Just Your Head.
So this former ministry CEO, and bestselling author of The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, shares his journey, and the journey of others—with conviction, depth, and a fork-in-the-road story:
“When it comes to leading at the top, we have to be all in or all gone. One of my own senior leaders pulled me aside one day and said, ‘Hans, we need a one hundred percent leader. You need to be all in or all gone. There is just too much at stake.’
“It took a lot of guts for him to say that to me, but he was right. When I got over my anger and defensiveness, I realized that God was whispering to me through this man. We leaders need to move on when our passion has left the building. That man saw it in me, and had the courage to call it out.
“It is not fair to the organization or the team to hang on for the wrong reasons. It’s better to leave too soon than to stay too long. Tentative leadership kills the momentum of the whole ministry.
“So, after 20 years in the first chair, I decided it was time for me to step down as the leader of our international ministry. I was no longer all in, so I needed to be all gone. It was a job I once loved, but no longer enjoyed. I asked the board to start the process of finding my replacement. This was one of the hardest decisions of my career, but a good one.
“The number one issue for me was passion. My heart was no longer engaged in my job—the fire had gone out. My heart had left the building.”
Whew! That’s just a taste of Finzel’s feast on the power of passion and there’s more to chew on:
• The slogan inside his baseball cap: “Do what you like, like what you do.” He said to himself, “I am doing neither.”
• The lottery question to gauge your heart: “If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do with the rest of your life?”
In describing the passion zone, he asks: How much does “The Leader” circle (gifts, abilities, strengths, personalities, values, calling) overlap with “The Role” circle (followers, culture, responsibilities, activities, situation, history)?
• “When who we are lines up with the role we are in, then we are in a place of passion.”
• “Feed your heart with great books and seminars. One of the best ways to guard your heart is to feed your heart.” (This is one of 15 suggestions for regaining your passion from the chapter, “The Road to Passion Recovery – Option One: Stay Put and Get Your Groove Back.”)
• From his list of 12 on “You Know It’s Time to Leave When…” he notes:
“The juice is no longer
worth the squeeze.
You’re worn out.”
Finzel has packed a punch in this thin little book. He recommends Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward (my 2011 book-of-the-year). But if you’re nervous about taking the plunge, you’ll appreciate this personal testimonial:
“Jumping was one of the best decisions of my life…scary but exhilarating. One of the Joshua’s in the ministry I left took over for me and is doing a great job. That is what I call a win-win for everyone. I get to follow my heart and my former ministry is doing just great without me.”
Hmmm. Reminds me of Parker Palmer’s appreciation for Frederick Buechner’s inspiring insight: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for: The Power of Passion in Leadership: Lead From Your Heart, Not Just Your Head, by Hans Finzel.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. A young leader, on a fast track to be a CEO somewhere, asked me recently, “Is it OK to have passion about leading—being the CEO; or must I also have passion about the specific cause and mission of the organization?” How would you answer him?
#2. Finzel counsels leaders who have lost their passion: “You might be at this crossroads. I get it. You have two choices to make [see chapters 6 and 7]. Whatever you do, make one of the two. The worst mistake is to do nothing. Time will not take care of it.” Are you at a crossroads?
As we cycle through the 20 buckets, here is an insight from Chapter 5, The Book Bucket, in Mastering the Management Buckets.
“Mentor your team members with niche books—and leverage their strengths with thoughtfully selected chapters.”
Example: Who’s on your team today that could be at a career crossroads? Sure, their leaving would cause you short-term pain—but, maybe, you are the God-appointed mentor to help them in their journey toward greater joy and passion.
Bless a person this week with a gift copy of The Power of Passion in Leadership. (And ask a close friend or family member if you should this book too!)
For more resources and ideas on creating a culture that embraces healthy appetites for leadership and management books, visit The Book Bucket webpage.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting is emailed free two to four times a month to subscribers, the frequency of which is based on an algorithm of book length, frequent flyer miles, and client deadlines.
Plus...check out John's post this week on the ECFA governance blog, "There’s an Elephant in the Room—But Let’s Just Keep the Peace!"