I had the pleasure of sitting in on a recent seminar session led by Joel Fotinos who directs the religion category at Penguin Putnam, a major US publishing house.
Joel related how he had become frustrated by the lack of risk and excitement he saw evidenced in new book projects being proposed by his editors and those of his colleagues at other publishing houses.
Being a man of intense passion, Fotinos wanted to ignite a similar fire in his team so he told them to:
- "go out and find a project about which you are so passionate that you will quit and go somewhere else if we don't [publish] it."
In my experience, too many organizations inhibit passion because it can create problems in the corporate environment. Passionate people - by definition - are not "reasonable." They demand that their ideas be heard and acted on. They raise their voices and pound their fists and "make others uncomfortable."
I'm with Joel - we need more irrational and foolishly passionate people on our teams. And the ONLY way you're going to take advantage of what they bring to the table is to DEMAND PASSION.