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I Have A Passion For People That Have Passion

July 22, 2014 / in General Information / by

Post Author: Mic Johnson

Have you ever had a situation where you learn something about yourself in the most unexpected way?

Maybe you were reading a book and had an “A-ha moment”.

Maybe you were talking to a friend and something just clicked in your head.

Maybe you knew it about yourself all along, but it rested in your subconscious, only to be suddenly awakened.

That’s happened to me a few times in my life and it’s always such an awesomely cool experience when it does. It happened to me early in my career with Blue Gurus and was the inspiration for me writing I’m Just Trying To Get Away From People That Suck.

It happened to me again around the time I turned 40 and realized that, after losing my dad when I was 23 years old (I wrote about that with February 6, 1995: The Day That Changed My Life Forever) and always longing for a male role model to help take his place, that I had, in fact, become what I was seeking.

PassionAnd it happened again to me recently when I was talking to my friend (and client) Jeff Chambers, Chief Strategy Officer at Alterra Bank, regarding a blog post idea he’d been throwing around about how he loved cars.

Not why he loved cars. But HOW he loved cars. He was telling me and a couple of other people about this idea and his face, eyes, and whole body lit up as he talked about various types of cars, how they drive, etc.

And to be completely honest, I really wasn’t that interested. I’m not a car guy. I never have been and probably never will be. So I didn’t really get into or share Jeff’s enthusiasm for the story he wanted to share. But I also didn’t dissuade him because I trust Jeff and because he’s a very good writer.

So once he sent me the post, I read it, reviewed it, edited it, and published it. (Here it is: How I Love Cars) And after reading it, he and I had an email exchange where he poked fun at me. Why? Well, because when I first saw his post, my comment to him was “Interesting”. But by the time I was done editing and publishing it, I called it a “work of art” and told him that he should submit it to Road and Track Magazine.

Ok, so where did my A-HA Moment occur?

In response to Jeff poking fun at my sudden admiration for his blog post, I said the following:

“My appreciation for it grew as I read it and edited it…and watched a part of the video. It’s a work of art because of the passion you have for it….and you did a great job of explaining that passion….so people like you that have a passion for cars will love it…and people like me that have a passion for people that have passion can appreciate it.”

And there it was. My A-HA Moment. Did you spot it?

What I realized at that very moment was that I HAVE A PASSION FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE PASSION.

That’s why I completely changed careers and took the risk nearly 5 years ago to work with Jason Terry. He’s one of the most caring and passionate people I’ve ever known.

That’s why I wrote I’m Just Trying To Get Away From People Who Suck. Because people who suck aren’t passionate and I have zero desire to spend any time with people like that.

That’s why I started my own peer advisory group (thanks to Jason for giving me the idea) a year and a half ago of people that I hand selected to get together once a month, with no agenda, over cocktails. I call it Introducing Awesome. The idea is that when you get awesome (and passionate) people together, that’s when the magic happens.

That’s why I have a standing monthly lunch with select people that are awesome, passionate people. I just want to be around them. It’s inspiring and it keeps my passion alive.

That’s why I’ve taken a few Millennials under my wing in recent years. I see so many young people with potential who could use some guidance as they navigate their lives and their careers. Giving them the benefit of my experience and helping to enable their passion is extremely humbling and rewarding.

In summary, it was a very cool experience to, in that moment, realize that having a passion for people that have passion is something that is now core to my DNA. It’s something that I actively seek out in my day to day interactions. And when I find passionate people, I make sure that they become a part of my inner circle.

What about you? What are you passionate about? Do you think you’re a passionate person? Are you passionate about life? Are you passionate about your career? If so, how did you get there?


  1. Thanks for the great post Mic. This is something I look for when getting to know people. However, I have come across some folks that just don’t have something that shows some spark and I am not sure why. Everyone has something they get excited about – a hobby, a sport or family.

    This is something that can be leveraged in an interview situation – especially if one of your passions is work-related. It can make you more “human” than others. Just like the P-A-R construction, telling a story will make one more memorable than “those others.”

    Sort of like my post on the next generation of technical experts: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140706000531-10722664-a-critical-need-our-next-generation-of-technical-experts?trk=object-title


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