How to Become a More Passionate Leader & Person

By Ron Pereira Updated on June 2nd, 2016

Businessman with passion text label.

Do you want to be part of an incredible culture at work? What about your personal life?  Well, in this article I’d like to explore a characteristic I believe to be extremely important for any person, or organization, seeking excellence… and this characteristic is passion.


Formally defined, passion is said to be a strong and barely controllable emotion. I really like this definition. You see, in order to create a rock solid lean thinking culture you must have folks with strong, barely controllable, emotions.

And, don’t get me wrong… this doesn’t mean you have to be bouncing off the walls with energy…. but do you smile more than you frown? Do you compliment more than you complain? Do you build others up more than you bring them down?

Make no mistake, the way you behave, and interact with others, is incredibly important.  In the end, the number of degrees you’ve earned or initials after your name mean little if most people run the other way when they see you coming around the corner.

Many Different Flavors

But, to be sure, passion can come in many different ways. In fact, I’d like to share just a few of the things I believe passionate people and organizations have in common.

First, passionate people and organizations make things happen. They take action. Yes, planning and prudence are extremely important aspects of the continuous improvement process… but, eventually, we need to have the courage to move forward and experiment. There’s little to no way for passion to exist when people, and groups of people, are stuck in analysis paralysis.

Second, passionate people and organizations are fearless and not afraid to fail. Of course we want to learn from our failures and failing certainly shouldn’t be our goal but if fear controls your every move there’s little chance of being passionate.

And lastly, passionate people are full of joy. Now, you’ll notice I didn’t say passionate people are always happy… because I believe there’s an important difference between happiness and joy.

You see, I believe that happiness is based upon “happenings,” meaning if things happen to be going well you’re likely to be happy… but when things don’t go well your happiness is going to be gone. In other words happiness can, and most likely will, come and go.

But, when we truly identify and believe in the why, or the purpose, of our organization and even the why and purpose of our personal lives we can be filled with joy enabling us to live and lead with passion!

Dig Deeper

Finally, if you’d like to hear more on this topic I’d encourage you to check out episode 112 of our podcast, which is the audio version of a keynote address I recently delivered at the TWI Summit. During the talk I cover this passion topic as well as a few others… so give it a listen if you’d like to learn more!

  1. Brian Campbell

    June 3, 2016 - 9:04 am

    Excellent summary of passion, nice and concise! I never thought of joy & happiness being different like this, but it makes sense.

    • Ron Pereira

      June 13, 2016 - 8:55 am

      Thanks, Brian! If you haven’t read it… I highly recommend reading “Joy, Inc.” by Richard Sheridan. It’s incredible!

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