Only people who don’t like their job.
There are two camps in the follow-your-passion debate. Those for it believe it to be the key to success. For those against, it is at best, an irresponsible piece of advice.
Why can’t both be right?
First, let’s grant it to the Againsts: Not everyone is so lucky that circumstances allow him or her to pick and choose how they make a living.
However, rather than accepting this as a blanket argument against following one’s passion, we should realize that if we are one of the lucky ones, then we have the responsibility to follow our passion. Not only do we owe it to ourselves. We owe it to those who aren’t so lucky, so that when we do succeed in following our passion, we can help the next generation of people struggling to follow theirs.
People’s circumstances change. The environment changes. In fact, you arepart of other people’s environment. When you choose not to follow your passion when you can, you are competing for a finite number of jobs, one of which may be consuming your soul, with others who do not have such a choice. Or even worse, for whom the job you find so unfulfilling would be a dream job.
When you succeed in following your passion, not only are you improving your own circumstances. You are getting in a position to improve the circumstances of others.
If you are part of other people’s environment, you can either be an obstacle on their road to success, or you can be a stepping stone.
Now about those jobs people don’t like.
As a business leader, I often hear talk about fitting people to jobs. I tend to think about it the opposite way, the people first way.
There are many ways to skin a cat, most of which never have, and never will, occur to you alone. So I fit jobs to people instead.
Ask your team members to design the jobs you give them. You see, bosses can at best, and very rarely at that, give people an ok job. The great jobs are invariably those that people created for themselves. The jobs that allow them to follow their passion.
Lead this way, and your team will constantly exceed your expectations with the innovative ways in which they fulfill their tasks, identify problems and deploy solutions. And, best of all, because they will spend their time tackling problems they feel are meaningful, and do so in ways they find enjoyable, they will also work extra hard, because it won’t feel like work. It will feel like just being themselves.
They will follow their calling. They will enjoy what they do. They will like their job.
And you will never have lazy people working for you.
Original article published in Medium.