How do I come across as more "passionate"?

29 April 2015 -


As David Cameron gets “pumped up” about the final stretch of the election campaign, Insights explores how top bosses sustain their drive and motivation

Jermaine Haughton

David Cameron suddenly upped his game in the General Election campaign this week, telling an audience of small business owners that he is “pumped up” about decision time, and feels “so passionately” about securing victory. His remarks followed hot on the heels of grumbles from Tory donors who felt he was on the wane during the grab for votes. Which begs the question: how do you come across as more passionate at times when stress and gruelling schedules mean you don’t always feel that way?

All business leaders experience tense and troubling phases on the rollercoaster of running a firm – so who better to explain how to identify and sustain your passion for business in trying times than some of the most successful entrepreneurs and chief executives?

Passion for pushing yourself

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them … It is this passion-fed formula that has allowed the Virgin Group to launch hundreds of new Virgin companies in scores of very diverse businesses, and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so for many years to come.” (Source)

Passion for fighting your corner

Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers “You can be tenacious, you can have courage, you can be passionate, but you don’t need to be aggressive … I have that attitude of ‘I’m not going to be bullied’. I’m going to fight for what I believe in. Over the years it’s become a bit of red-rag to a bull: try and tell me I can’t do something and you’re in trouble.” (Source)

Passion for creative excellence

Elon Musk, SpaceX, PayPal and Tesla “I think of myself more [like] an engineer … So “I’m more reluctantly the CEO. It’s not my preference, actually. [But] in creating companies, you just want to say ‘how do you create the best product or service possible?’ Companies that don’t make good products or services just shouldn’t exist. I think that’s just pretty logical.” (Source)

Passion to learn from mistakes

Alan Lafley, Procter & Gamble “[Failures] were all part of my growth and development. What’s the single biggest reason that leaders stop developing and growing? They stop becoming adaptable; they stop becoming agile. It’s Darwin’s theory. When you stop learning, you stop developing and you stop growing … We learned much more from failed new brands and products like Dryel at-home dry cleaning and Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash than we did from huge successes like Febreze and Swiffer.” (Source)

Passion for “the mission”

Matt Urmy, Artist Growth “On any given day I’m dealing with people who have different interests, and it's a challenge to wear all the hats and dive in and out of those conversations, and also manage the team and keep on track and deliver on time. It’s difficult keeping up the intensity, but I’m motivated by a mission to build technology that helps stabilise the music industry and make it healthier.” (Source)

Strategic passions

Find out which high-performance tactics are getting bosses fired up by downloading this CMI infographic.

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