Can you spot who is faking it?

First off, this post has nothing to do with the bedroom.  But we’re still going to be talking about passion!  

Over the last few days I’ve come across different examples of passion in business.  It’s made it clear to me that passion is a vital ingredient to being successful in business.

Fake passion

There’s the artificial kind of passion.  A friend shared a story about how a thoughtless Twitter user sold his soul to some ghosts . . . he’s got them to fake his tweets for the last 4 years on behalf of his internet sales and marketing business.  Apparently, this was so he could come across as knowledgeable about his field of work.  He came acropper when one of the ghost writers decided to get his revenge on being fired. 

The problem here is that any trust this person built as a business has been lost.  How can you trust he knows what he’s doing in his field of work when he’s not being transparent about where his business knowledge comes from.  Isn’t this why people might hire him?  Passionate sharing of knowledge can inspire your audience.  But the faked stuff can seriously damage your reputation.  A key ingredient to social media is transparency as it’s hard to fake passion.

(A couple of days later he spun the whole story as a hoax - don't think that's improved my view of him any better.)

The A Player's approach to passion

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve been reading the autobiography of Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. 

From 1981 through 2000, a period that includes nearly all of Welch’s tenure, GE’s annual revenue soared from $26.8 billion to $130 billion, its earnings rose from $1.65 billion to $12.74 billion, and its stock price saw a 40-fold increase.  He was recognised in the elite of business leaders of his time - in 1999 he was named "Manager of the Century" by Fortune magazine.

In his chapter on ‘What this CEO thing is about’ he defines passion as a key quality in an “A player”. 

For him it boils down to caring about large and small issues.  It’s not about being flashy or loud.  “It’s something that comes from deep inside.  Great organisations can ignite passion”.


Why passion is just as important for businesses in the new media

Passion is just as important today as in Welch’s time.  Gallup Management Journal agree with this idea in a brilliant and clear analysis on how companies can capitalise on social media to acquire new customers.  Their Customer Engagement Hierarchy on the first page is a graphic that puts passion at the top of the pyramid.  Authentic passion mobilises customers to want to work with you.  It leads to an emotional connection that is so compelling.

How do I do let passion work for me?

So how can you let your passion communicate the value of your business?  My key suggestion would be to speak about the things that excite you in your work - that will light your audience up and make them want to work with you.  If you're not able to create genuine passion on a topic, find a way to change that from the inside. 

Healthy in Mind viewpoint:  Honest passion is a powerful authentic tool in selling.  What might it do to your business performance to let your customers see what you’re genuinely passionate about?

Article Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011


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