Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2017 Contents BG10 | VERBATIM
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JUNE 22 • 2017
performance at work
If you go to Giza, Egypt, you can
see the Great Pyramid. Considered
by archaeologists to be the oldest
structure in existence, at more than
4,500 years old, the Great Pyramid
rises almost 500 feet (152 meters) into
the sky and is constructed with more than 2.3
million stones, many of which weigh more than
2.5 tonnes. It is the sole remaining structure
of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great
Pyramid's features are so large they can be seen
from the moon.
Even though the Great Pyramid was built
4,500 years ago, using primitive tools to carve
the stone blocks, the 2.3 million stones were
cut within 1/100th of an inch (0.254mm) of
perfectly straight, and at nearly perfect right
angles, for all six sides. It is said that not even
modern technology can place stones of this size
with greater accuracy than those in the pyra-
mid. That's the quality of the workmanship.
Until recently, people believed that the
20-year construction of the Great Pyramid
was done by slaves under the harsh rule of
the Egyptians. As it turns out, according to
an Associated Press report dated Jan 12, 2010,
historians determined that wasn't the case.
The Great Pyramid was built by free men---
farmers, really---who volunteered their time
four months of every year because they be-
lieved in their leader and the purpose of the
effort. A passionate and remarkable example
of enduring workplace performance. You can
pay people to work.
In a tough economy, you can practically force
people to work. But, to achieve that remarkable
performance requires passion on our part, and
on the part of the people we lead.
How do we get such passion that creates re-
markable performances in the workplace?
If you were watching a football game, like
the one between T&T and USA recently, you
would see the die-hard passion of fans in the
stadium and many sports-bars around the
country. How do we evoke a similar passion
in our employees to cheer and get involved in
the "game" of getting things done in the office?
Whether it is a football game or a Broadway
production, we see the passion the players and
performers evoke in us. If the performance is
stirring and awe-inspiring, we want more of
it. We call for an encore.
Can we get encore performances from our
employees? This is the question Crestcom fac-
ulty member Mark Sanborn examines in this
month's session on how to improve workplace
According to Sanborn, our passion for doing
things stems from four sources: what we do,
The Roman poet and author Virgil wrote,
"Your profession is what you were put on earth
to do with such passion and such intensity that
it becomes spiritual in calling"
. If that's how
you feel about your work, then it is likely that
when someone asks you to do something you
are more likely to perform the task with passion
and diligence. But, not all our employees may
have that perspective.
So, if you want to know how to motivate your
employees, starting to get to know what their
source of passion is perhaps a good place to
Sometimes their passion may not be entirely
on the job they do at work. However, if you
know what is the reason for them to come to
work and earn a salary---be it the need to feed
the family or send the children to school, or
build a better home for themselves and their
family---then you can have an insight into why
they do what they do. This can be a motivating
factor in leading them to do an even better work
that can lead them to better pay and be able to
better achieve their personal goals.
Passion is the difference between a great
performance and an ordinary performance,
between remarkable and average. Between
one-time, flash in the pan, to encore perfor-
mance.But isn't it a bit naive to expect
that everyone is pursuing their
passion every day, in everything
Even the most successfully
passionate people have to do
things that aren't exactly their favourite part
of their job. And some days, we just seem to
have less energy for our passion than others.
Let's face it, we all let ourselves slip into the
doldrums every now and again.
This is a good time to remember that there
are four sources of passion. So, when passion
for what you do wanes, look to your other three
sources of passion.
A big source of passion for many is who we
do it for.
I imagine that every parent reading this ar-
ticle can identify with the "who" of passion.
But who comes from other sources as well.
Whether that who is the customer, whether
it's the colleague, whether it's your spouse,
your son, your daughter or a friend. Once you
focus on who you are passionate about helping,
you'll find that when you put a person into
the mix, you'll find passion that you didn't
know you had.
Author Rob Markey reminds us that, "Loy-
al, passionate employees bring a company as
much benefit as loyal, passionate customers.
They stay longer, work harder, work more cre-
atively, and find ways to go the extra mile."
They are the ones who exercise discretionary
effort to go above and beyond the minimum
required. If you have employees who are pas-
sionate about what they do, celebrate them
and give them every opportunity to display
And, Good to Great author Jim Collins found
in his research that, "The kind of commitment I
find among the best performers across virtually
every field is a single-minded passion for what
they do, an unwavering desire for excellence
in the way they think, and the way they work."
So, if you want to build an organisation that
will stand the test of time, like the Great Pyr-
amid, surround yourself with employees who
are passionate about what they do, how they
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