Post written by Mic Johnson, Social Media Coach|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Blog Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer
This week I had a few ideas floating around in my head for the blog, but I thought I’d open it up to our Facebook fans to see if there was anything on their minds that they wanted me to write about. (We always will gladly take your suggestions, btw. This blog, after all, is for YOU.)
They asked that I write about “How to get people engaged and passionate in your work, product, etc.”
Before I share some of my thoughts, let me tell you a quick story on why I’d been thinking about the topic of passion lately myself. It’s a simple story, really. Jason and I had a FANTASTIC meeting recently with a new prospect. We talked about a new web site, we talked about blogging, we talked about technology, we talked about LinkedIn, we talked about Twitter, we talked about corporate culture, and on and on.
It was just one of those fluid conversations that happens when you get awesome people together. One of the owners said more than once:
“It’s obvious you guys have passion for what you do. You wear it on your sleeves.”
Wow. What a compliment. I’m both humbled and thrilled by it.
So how do you get people passionate about your brand, product, service, etc?
Unfortunately there is no magic bullet, but here are four things that I know and believe with all of my heart:
1. Every single person you hire has to be passionate.
I’ve worked in plenty of places where I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing and the people I worked with weren’t either. It’s MISERABLE and nearly put me in the hospital. No joke. In the 3 years I’ve been with Blue Gurus, people have commented more about my passion than in my entire prior career combined.
Sure I’ve changed a bit, but my environment has changed and I truly love what I do…helping people will never get old for me. Now if you’re a business owner or a hiring manager, you will have have to spend more time and effort finding people that have that passion, but it will pay off in the long run. I guarantee it.
2. Your corporate culture has to be dripping with passion.
Chances are if you can get #1 right, #2 will take care of itself. I’ve seen waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too many companies that have passionate people in various spots of the organization, but they don’t have passionate and engaged LEADERSHIP. If you work somewhere where the leadership isn’t passionate and engaged, start looking now to find another place to work. It makes all the difference in the world.
One is an environment where everyone goes in, does their job, isn’t asked for their opinion, collects a paycheck, and goes home. The other is one where opinions and engagement are valued and encouraged, where status doesn’t matter, where the hierarchy has been flattened, and where the vision and direction of the organization is clear to everyone.
3. Your passion has to be a part of your online experience.
Whether it’s in the blog articles you write, your interactions on your personal and professional Facebook pages (I share Blue Gurus information on both), the energy and tone of your emails, the enthusiasm of your tweets (if you follow me on Twitter, you see plenty of tweets about Kansas Jayhawk basketball….hey, I’m passionate about that too!), etc. Basically the passion that people experience from your face-to-face interactions has to be woven into the fabric of your online brand. Who you are in person needs to sync up with who you are online.
4. You have to hang around other passionate people.
I’m a firm believer that when you put awesome, passionate people together, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you get inspired. That’s when you get to share ideas. That’s when you see natural collaboration at its finest. You need to surround yourself with these kind of people and engage with them on a regular basis. Try setting up your own peer advisory group. Try getting a regular lunch on the calendar with people that you think are passionate. Or come up with something completely different and new. Whatever it is, just make sure you do it..regularly.
Passionate people generally like helping other people so they will very likely become advocates for what you’re doing. There’s nothing better than having other people talk about you, your brand, and your passion to other people. But it’s a two way street. You have to be a giver too. No one likes someone that is constantly looking out only for #1.
What do you think? What other ideas about passion do you have? I’m all ears. It’s not an easy equation and it varies from person to person and company to company. But I can assure you, having people talking about how passionate you are about what you do for a living is a million times better than the alternative.