A former boss and I were talking about his requirements for hiring. One of the things that he said struck me: "I never hire people who are too passionate for their job. They tend to mix emotions and work - and let emotions overcome them when the work needs to be done."
At first, I disagreed with him.
My reasoning was simple: "We need passionate people who are willing to go beyond the call of duty to deliver - specially in a very competitive world such as the media and ad industry. We need passionate people who will go the extra mile in order to deliver."
Then I realized - perhaps a little too late - that passion is not what drives one to go beyond the printed roles and responsibilities and job description. It is the willingness - that desire - to deliver a great job. It is that belief that "nothing unremarkable should leave my desk", balanced carefully with "I am not superwoman/superman" that makes people remarkable.
Whatever is served in front of them, they deliver - to the best of their ability. They do the work - and they do it well. And if doing it well requires doing that "extra bit", that "extra mile", that "extra mile", then so be it.
All these are done with the thought at the back of their heads that "I cannot save the world all by myself - because I am only human".
When the limit is reached - and we all have physical, mental, and psychological limits - it has to be respected. And accepted.
Dispassionately-passionate is what we are looking for.
This post was inspired by Seth Godin, who writes:
Here's the thing: it's never personal. It's never about you. How could it be? That person doesn't truly know you, understand what you want or hear the voices in your head. All they know is themselves.
When someone moves on, when she walks away or even badmouths you or your work, it's not personal about you. It's personal about her. Her agenda, her decisions, her story.
Do your work, the best way you know how. Is there any other option?