Be An Effective Leader: Do What You Love

DoYouLoveMy dad once said to me, “I don’t care what you do, as long as you love it.” This wisdom has guided every career decision I have made since. Yet, there are many CEO’s and managers who truly don’t enjoy what they do. That’s a waste of potential, because people who love what they do are more engaged, more productive and more efficient.

You are a role model for people in your organization.  What do people see in you?  Consider these questions to determine what messages you are sending about how you feel about your work.

Green Lights

Positive answers to these questions are signals for you to continue your journey. However, if you see other roles with more green lights, you might consider moving in that direction.

  • Fulfillment:  Are you doing something worthwhile, making a significant contribution to all stakeholders?
  • Passion:  Do you feel that you are doing what you are meant to do in this world?
  • Pay:  Would you do what you do without financial compensation?
  • Admiration:  If someone else was doing this work, would you admire them and the value of their work?

Yellow Lights

If you answer “yes” to these questions, proceed with caution. You may find that you have strayed into a job you really don’t love, which will become the source of dissatisfaction.

  • Procrastination:  Do you put off important tasks until the last moment?
  • Inferior Work:  Are your results poorer than they could be because you avoid necessary tasks?
  • Distractions:  Are you easily diverted from important tasks toward others which seem more attractive?
  • Prestige:  Have you pursued this position because others hold it in high esteem?
  • Money:  Is the level of compensation the main reason you wanted this job? Did you expect it to make you happier?

What can you do to acquire work you really love?

  • Keep the parts of the job that you love. Be like the president of a home building company I know, who keeps designing subdivisions because he loves it.
  • Delegate as much as possible to people who would love to do those parts you don’t love.
  • Move on, if there is little you love in what you do. Prepare the organization for succession.

When you love what you do, people will see your passion and seek the same for themselves. Your example can help people find and respond to their own green lights.


December 5, 2012

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