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Passion requires grappling with angst and getting through it.

Passion requires grappling with angst and getting through it.

The power of passion is a strong desire for something that compels us into action. As leaders we want our teams to demonstrate engagement and work passionately toward results, but how do we keep the fire of passion alive? 

But first, let’s talk about the absence of passion which is complacency and indifference. A lot of us think negative emotions and conflict are the biggest problem in team dynamics, but to me what is more troublesome is the flat affect of someone who has lost their passion. Anger, criticism, argument and blaming are definitely uncomfortable, but at least they are indicators that you have a team that cares deeply. So as a leader, it’s important to get comfortable with the angst that might happen between team members and help them through it. Angst is often a sign that something old needs to go away and something new needs to take its place. I would go as far as saying that teams need to have conflict in order to grow. They just need to know how to process conflict in a constructive way. It is the indifferent people who probably need to move on. They are probably bored and might be hanging on because of security or fear about change. 

Once we know that angst, conflict and arguments are actually productive and make us better, we can navigate through it better. We have to invite others to access the lessons underneath their inner strife and tell us what’s bothering them. 

For example, I am an Impact Tilt, so I like to go fast and break things. Sometimes that feels impulsive to the Clarity Tilters in our company who will throw up a wall of resistance if they think I’m going too fast. Instead of thinking they are trying to hold me back from progress, I have learned that their resistance has something important to teach me that I’m not thinking of. It takes courage in character to look beyond the feeling it creates in me to seek the golden nugget of knowledge they will give me if I just ask. 

I’ve learned to welcome resistance, angst, conflict and annoyances because getting through them makes us all better and helps us trust one another. It’s only the weak who leave to avoid being human.