“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” -Benjamin Franklin
If you had a gallon of gasoline but no car, it would slow you down because you’d have no way to use it. You’d be encumbered with the additional weight of that gasoline. I like to think that passion without a process is like a gallon of gas without a car. You have fuel, but you don’t have the vehicle to transport you to your destination.
Passion is what distinguishes remarkable performance from ordinary performance. You don’t get exceptional work – or the drive to work late and go the extra mile – from a team that is not drawing from at least one of the four sources of passion.
But passion is not the whole story.
Exceptional performance also requires a balance of process and discipline in order to execute deliverables to make the passion come to life. We have all been in the position of working with someone (or perhaps being that person ourselves?) that thinks very creatively, produces fantastic ideas, and yet cannot seem to bring those ideas about on their own.
As managers, we tend to fall into the trap of classifying our team into “thinkers” and “doers” and letting that classification become an excuse for average performance. Certainly, everyone is at least a little stronger in one than the other. But it is important to set the expectation, and the example, with our team that “thinkers” will still be pushed to execute and “doers” will still be pushed to innovate processes. This ensures the team is collaboratively working toward excellent performance.
Excellent performers, however, are beyond this simple classification. They are able to bridge the gap between the “thinkers” and the “doers.” They have the discipline to apply their passion to a process, to do the job the right way, whether or not they feel like following a process. They have a vision of how they can make their ideas come alive, and they follow that process through to execution and implementation.