Commitment, good communication, decision making capabilities, accountability and positivity are some key attributes that passionate people in a working environment portray, Lucia Perchard, director at Jersey-based trust business, Highvern told attendees of the seventh eprivateclient Leadership Insight Seminar titled ‘You can buy anything but you can’t buy passion’ in London last week (04/10/2018).
However, passionate people can be quite “demanding, expect people to have high energy levels almost all the time and are not always good at looking at the bigger picture. So hiring in passion can be challenging because if they don’t always share the same vision with you and are not moving in the same direction as the business it can derail it,”
Ms Perchard then discussed means of developing the positive attributes of the passionate within the working culture of a business.
When it comes to commitment “passionate people have a vision, and following that vision is compelling, they are totally committed. Such commitment isn’t as easily generated in a business,” Ms Perchard said. “A business must invest in its staff as there are a limited supply of great people with the required qualifications and so different firms are usually vying for these individuals with money being a key tool of attraction, it can therefore be challenging to keep staff committed to the firm.”
As such it is incumbent on a good leader to not only focus on their current performance but on what an “employee is going to do with the firm in the future, something which Highvern is implementing more in their work force,” Ms Perchard said. “We look at their career and what they have achieved but we spend more time on what they are hoping to achieve personally and for the firm in the coming year, we seek to match their commitment by working with them to see both the firms and their own ambitions grow”.
She explained that “clients want continuity of care and for many this is vital” so spending time with colleagues listening and asking questions taking their contribution and career development seriously is what drives people to stay committed to their firm”
Good communication is another aspect a passionate person may portray. “Failing businesses and people who tend to leave businesses often do so because of the lack of good communication” Ms Perchard continued.
Ms Perchard pointed out that “businesses spend large sums of money on their external marketing and communication but little if anything on their internal marketing to their key resource, their people” such internal marketing can be achieved with minimal cost with the use of “technology especially for younger team members,” she said. “Promoting a message that is inclusive and enables employees to connect to the company’s vision value and goals will enable them to see that their contribution matters, which is vital.”
Another quality is strong decision-making capabilities, which is “the ability to find your position in any given situation and to make a decision,” Ms Perchard added.
Decision making is an ongoing process in every business and developing critical thinking skills is an important quality for a leader. Passionate people often fail but they learn, grow and improve forever moving forward. Therefore empowering those in the business to make decisions every day commensurate with their role is important. This can however lead to making mistakes, which is “one of the most important things we are all going to do whether in our professional or personal lives.”
When asked during a live interactive poll held during the seminar 92 percent of attendees said they have made a professional mistake during their careers whilst only eight percent said they have not to which Ms Perchard said mistakes are “fundamental to learning, if you do not make mistakes you do not learn.”
People want to work in a “fearless company – a company which doesn’t create a
‘blame culture’ but allows room for growth and learning. For a company to be able to do this it clearly has to have sufficient and strict protocols in place to make sure that such mistakes are caught before they can become problematic,”. Developing such a framework requires continual re-evaluation as the environment in which we all operate is a dynamic one. Ms Perchard stated. “Passionate people make mistakes but they do not dwell on them, they use them as a means to push themselves further forward.”
The good thing about being passionate Ms Perchard explained is that “Passion is contagious and the passionate are an altruistic bunch when it comes to sharing their passion”. When asked whether the attendees perceived themselves as a positive person in the interactive poll held, 63 percent of them said yes, whilst 32 percent said unsure and five percent said no.
“It is important to try to review our language and interact with others promoting the positive message in both what is said and what is done. “Encourage people with questions when listening to them express their idea/s or thought/s rather than telling them to change their thinking process as this can be demoralising,” she added.
Ms Perchard concluded that “People buy People, it is often our people that differentiate us in a fast paced market. Creating the right environment to drive out the positive qualities of the passionate can also lead a firm to creating a really positive and dynamic work culture.
The seventh eprivateclient Leadership Insight Seminar was sponsored by Ruffer LLP and hosted at their London office on Thursday 4 October 2018.