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The Power of Passion in Business: Why Enthusiasm and Positivity Win the Day

A few weeks ago, I sat around the table with a couple employees and a client’s team. It was a day-long meeting, the kind that often drags on and on. But this one was different.

We brainstormed about the client’s brand and big vision. We mapped out marketing strategies to launch a killer product. The hours flew by, and our time together was incredibly productive and truly fun.

What was different?

The passion.

Every person around the table that day was fired up about this product launch. And those who hadn’t initially shown up to the meeting with much passion quickly soaked up the group’s enthusiasm and jumped on the passion bandwagon–without even realizing it.

We walked out of that room energized, and I was ready to go above and beyond for this client, simply because of our shared passion and positivity.

Nothing else about the meeting was unique. Same challenges, same marketing tactics, same agenda as always. It followed the normal order of events for any client sit-down (all of which are generally awesome and get me excited), but this time, the client brought such passion, energy, and enthusiasm that it leaked out onto the table and into my team.

All else equal, passion stole the show. It changed the relationship, and ultimately, the outcomes.

The whole event got me thinking a lot about the power of passion in business–authentic passion that manifests itself in positivity and enthusiasm–and how else I might foster it in myself and my office to continually get us fired up about our work.

Psychological capital

We speak often about economic capital and human capital, but what about psychological capital? The impact of staff psychology on a company’s performance is undeniable. Increasingly, evidence suggests that our mindset affects not only our attitude toward the work we do, but also, the outcome of that work. We each bring psychological capital to the table, and it’s a significant driver in the success of a personal career, as well as a corporate bottom line.

I referenced Shawn Achor’s TED Talk “The Happy Secret to Better Work” in last week’s blog. He’s a leading thinker in this arena, and his work on passion and positive psychology in the workplace shows that these tenets are critical to professional “flourishing”–both for an individual and for a company.

Emotional contagion

So, take the fact that passion affects work outcome, and combine it with the fact that it’s highly contagious.

Psychologists talk about emotional contagion as “the process in which one person or group influences the emotions and affective behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotions.” The idea carries heavy implications for the workplace.

As in my example above with the passionate client, positivity and enthusiasm are infectious. We see it to be true in our lives, and social science agrees. Human nature is to absorb the mindsets of those around us. Passion and its derivatives are absolutely contagious, but so are the contrasting tenets. It all goes to show that my attitude as a leader and the attitudes of the people I surround myself with are crucial.

Studies show that higher levels of passion, positivity, and enthusiasm in the workplace lead to:

  • More engaged and committed employees
  • Greater levels of creativity and innovation
  • Increased team focus on excellence and performance
  • Extra hours and effort willingly put in by staff
  • Less stress and more work satisfaction
  • Higher demand in top-notch client interest
  • More successful brands and bottom lines

With all this in mind, as a entrepreneur and a marketer, here are my takeaways.

1- Be intentionally passionate myself. If studies show that being upbeat and positive carries heavy implications for success (and they do!), then I want to be upbeat and positive–no questions asked. It’s a daily practice, I believe. It’s a choice to carry energy into a room and to engage with a high level of enthusiasm, no matter the subject or the person involved.

2- Hire passionate people. The choice of whom to hire and spend 8+ hours a day with is a major decision, and that individual’s attitude inevitably becomes an integrated piece of your work culture. Research shows that increasingly, employers list “positivity” or “passion” in the top qualities they seek when hiring, sometimes even over experience. I’m not surprised, and I totally agree. It’s a game changer.

3- Work with passionate clients. It’s certainly a privilege to get to choose which clients we work with as an agency, and I have made it a priority to partner with individuals and organizations who are energized by their missions and positive about our potential for success together. Shared enthusiasm affects marketing outcomes and my team’s overall perception of the client immensely.

The leading thinkers & inventors in our world are people of passion, of positivity, of enthusiasm. Click To Tweet

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Isn’t that the truth? The people I look up to in marketing and business are people of passion. The leading thinkers and inventors in our world are people of passion, of positivity, of enthusiasm. I am inspired by their attitudes, and I seek to think the same way–in the hope that my inner mindset will come through in my external actions and relationships.

When all else is equal, passion and enthusiasm win the day.

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  • Yes! I love this article, Chad.

  • Good stuff! I think it would be cool to get your insight on how you accomplish takeaway #1. 🙂

  • Claudia Duncan

    Love this Chad. It is so easy to fall into the monotony of getting things done day after day that so often we forget to stop and refuel the passion inside of us. Thank you for your posts. Keep up the good writing. You inspire me to be a better leader myself. Claudia