What does Passion mean?

By Clare Friel, Friel

Passion is a word bandied about so much these days in the context of the workplace, that it has become a bit of a cliché.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22

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We can all claim to be passionate about X, Y or Z, but the more we spout on about it, the less impact the message conveys. And does a claimed passion about a sales target or a KPI really sit alongside the passion that has inspired great works of art, become the catalyst of love affairs, or driven the plots of great literature?

Personally, I’d say no and in the context of driving a business forward, the uncontrolled, obsessive passion that characterises these great themes would probably end, like a lot of them, in tragedy.

What is the place of Passion in industry? 

Passion in the workplace is an amalgamation of many things – vision, enthusiasm, dedication, drive and focus to name but a few. It isn’t a blind all-consuming obsession that bulldozes everything in its path. It is the harnessing of talent and positive energy in a controlled way, aimed at achieving challenging but realistic goals. It requires collaboration, clear objectives and a common focus to achieve success.  

Passion is about breaking down barriers. It’s about bringing people on board who believe in what they are doing and are willing to channel their energy into it. It’s about the rollercoaster of ups and downs that will eventually lead to the joy of success. It’s about people being in a place they want to be, sometimes straying out of their comfort zones, but ultimately experiencing the satisfaction of achieving something that makes a difference. That difference may only be a small thing, but it brings with it the satisfaction that a good job has been done and that you were part of it. 

So how do we harness Passion at Friel?

At Friel, we have a small but, dare I say it, passionate hand-picked team. Our aim is to sing from the same hymn sheet as our customers, understanding what they want from us and focusing our collective skills on delivering that result. Team relationships are built on mutual trust and an appreciation of each other’s talents (and weaknesses). It is that mutual respect, pride in our work and belief in ourselves as a group, that underpins our desire to deliver consistent quality service to our customers. That’s the spark that ignites the passion; the desire to succeed and be the best at what we do. 

I have worked for lots of different companies, and lots of different bosses. Some of these experiences and bosses were amazing; some weren’t. But, ironically I probably learnt more from my bad experiences than my good ones. My passion for the business was formed by these experiences and led me to believe that I could make a difference if I started my own business and treated people the way I wanted to be treated, with respect, trust, and where necessary with constructive criticism. That was a vision, and it instilled a passion in me and the team to make it a reality.

Not that we can now rest on our laurels, because the passion will fade if we don’t keep that fire lit. We keep stoking that fire with new challenges, innovations and imaginative thinking, so that the passion never fades. You might not be able to define passion in the boardroom, but boy will see the rewards when you’ve found it.

Clare Friel is Director and Founder of Friel. For more information
E: clare@frielgood.com or visit: frielgood.com

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