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Leveraging Passion in Leadership for Non Profit Leaders

October 23, 2018

Today I had the opportunity to speak to a group of non profit leaders as part of the Aureon Non Profit Executive Series on the topic of Leveraging Passion in Leadership.



I've had the opportunity to work with a few non profit leaders and it's been my observation that at times their passion for their cause may hold them back from fulfilling their purpose, rather than supporting it. Purpose and passion are absolutely needed, but they are not being channeled effectively if they are leading to the judgement, frustration and lack of respect for others.


Recognizing this could be a sensitive subject, I shared a personal story with the audience that when I started studying characteristics of success 17 years ago, I was so excited and passionate about what I was learning and trying to practice that I began preaching to and judging everyone around me and if they did not share the same passion, I became extremely frustrated with them. I quickly realized that the journey is personal for everyone and if I really wanted to change the world, I needed to be more adaptable and understanding rather than expecting them to see things from my point of view. A powerful lesson.


Most of our time was spent with audience members in small groups sharing stories, thoughts and ideas while receiving feedback around key topics.

  • They shared their purpose with each other and learned though they may have different causes, they all accepted personal responsibility for their cause and could relate to each other's purpose.

  • They shared why they were passionate about their particular cause. Many of them shared similar experiences that led them to the positions they hold today. One shared that this wasn't her plan. She was passionate about the cause and kind of "fell" into the opportunity.

  • On flip chart paper they were asked to discuss and note the different ways their passion supports fulfillment of their purpose, as well the different ways their passion might hold them back from fulfilling their purpose. Many said it was easier to come up with the ways their passion may hold them back, than it does support them.

  • We talked about how each of us has good and bad and ugly. We each have things about us that will help us achieve great success and we each have things about us that if we aren't aware of or if we ignore, could hold us back. They agreed that self-awareness and self-management is key.

  • In the spirit of self and team management we talked about how they lead their teams and organizations while outlining DDI's Four Stages of Team Development.

    • Start

    • Spin

    • Stabilize

    • Soar

We talked about the difference between a team that Spins and a team that Soars is the level of trust they have for each other, their leader and their organization. They were asked to consider what stage their team was in and what role they play as the leader.

  • We finished the session touching on SOCIAL STYLES and dominant patterns behavior. We went through all four SOCIAL STYLES, (Driving, Expressive, Amiable, Analytical), considered characteristics of each and discussing how to best work with each Style to build and maintain a trusting environment where people's needs are being met and everyone moves forward with security, confidence and purpose.


At the end of the session we held a drawing for a $501 donation on behalf of Aureon and the lucky winner was Living History Farms.


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