Passion or Interest?

When interviewing candidates, we seek to learn about the person. We want to learn about the person’s skills, capabilities, and other attributes. To get a fuller picture of someone during the short interview process, I often ask the person about their passion.

We think about passion as an attribute of ourselves. We also have many interests. We are deeply passionate about a very few things, maybe only one.

A passion is an intense desire or enthusiasm for something for which we have a fervor or zeal; we’re animated, we have an emotional connection with much higher commitment. Interests are often substituted for and share as passions. What we say we are passionate about becomes blurred with or indistinguishable from something that’s an interest, something that doesn’t have that intense enthusiasm, zeal or energy.

When we are genuinely passionate about something, we love to talk about it. We could talk for hours, sharing our thoughts and ideas on the topic. We want to share and connect with others.

Leadership, for example, is my great passion — but not all aspects of leadership. However, leadership focused on helping people, leadership that formulates great teams, and leadership that creates growth and opportunities for all, employees as well as owners and investors.

I talk about leadership, read about it, explore it, learn from others about it, and think about it all the time. It’s not an intellectual or academic pursuit in my case. My leadership interest is an intense desire to help people, help them becomeleaders, focus on the people skills of great leaders, all of which help create the most successful teams, organizations and companies. Underlying it all is my own desire to learn, grow and be the best leader of people I can be.

I could go on and on about leadership. Your passion maybe about sometehing entirely different. Wonderful!

Ask yourself today; What am I truly passionate about, that is present with me in some way all or most the time?

When you find yourself talking, thinking, or writing about that topic for the next 30 minutes or more, …you’ve found it. Until that happens, keep asking yourself that question every day.

Next time you ask an interview candidate about their passion, you’ll know when you’ve found it.

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