As a Bruins fan, and hockey lover, I watch a great deal of hockey. Because I must have live hockey in my life, I’m even paying attention to the Avalanche now that I am a resident of Colorado. Of course, I want to see the team I am rooting for win, but there is something else I want to see that is even more important. I want to see passion and intensity on the ice. When I watch a game played by players who want to win, I am more invested in the outcome. In fact, I believe that games aren’t always won by the more skilled. I believe games are often won by the more passionate team. The game is won by whoever wants it more, and I suspect by whatever team most believes in the abilities of their teammates.
I’ve watched a fair amount of lackluster hockey, where movement is sluggish, team members don’t stand up for one another, or teams forget to play their brand of hockey. I’ve also seen a fair amount of hockey games won by teams purely because they played their brand of hockey. When the Bruins play their own brand of physical hockey and play it with passion, they are tough to beat.
Business is not very different.
Passion makes us stand out from the crowd and turns us into strong leaders. Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin, Spencer Johnson and countless other authors who write about the methodology of succeeding in business all talk about passion.
Remaining true to our brand is another way we remain competitive. Knowing what sets our business apart from the business down the street is critical in pulling apart from the crowd. Know your identity and like the Bruins, use it!
I love watching someone do something they love, even if it isn’t an activity I partake in. People who perform with passion are contagious and make us happy. I want to be around them. And I suspect I’m not alone in this.
At a defining:WOMEN Network lunch earlier this week, we received a small token of appreciation from defining:WOMEN’s founder, Kathlyn Jamarillo. A box of red Christmas ornaments with one word written on each one was passed around and we were to chose the one that we most resonated with. I chose ‘Bright’ because it would remind me that when I am talking about my work, I feel a brightness exuding from inside. I find it hard to believe it isn’t visible to everyone I encounter. Why is this important? Well, for me, I believe that the moment I stop exuding this excitement in my work, it will be time to move on. This token will be a reminder for me not to forget to play with passion.
Go ahead, be contagious in your excitement. Play with passion, and be sure you know your ‘brand of hockey’. Trust me, you can’t win without it.