Passion

For those that know me, words carry a lot of power. They define behavior and thought. In this light I hope to share my thoughts on a very important word, passion. I hope those that read this will find this thought provoking and helpful.

The modern use of the word passion, has little to do with its root or original meaning. This change in meaning and its use in our modern world has caused some reflection on my part for the last two decades. It is something that I have discovered to be undesirable in its modern use.

The root of the word passion is patior, meaning to suffer. We see the use of this word in early Christianity. The Passion of Christ, or His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross. Or the passion of the early martyrs of Christianity.

However, in todays usage, the word now means extreme emotion, compelling one to irrational behavior, or blinding one to sensibility. The most common phrase I hear goes something like this, “I’m sorry if I have offended you, I’m just so passionate about this.” In other words, I can’t control my passion and my passion is to blame for any wrong doing.

Passion in the modern sense, has never benefited me in my professional career. Rather I go through great effort to make sure I avoid it. One such rule I have implemented to counter this, is I avoid making a difficult, non-life threatening decisions for at least 24 hours. Doing so will help ensure that emotion is not getting the best of me. There is an Arabic saying, let the words roll on your tongue seven times before speaking. In other words, think thoroughly before speaking. Don’t speak with emotion or else you are likely to say something you shouldn’t.

In my career, I tell those I oversee, I don’t want their passion. Rather I want them to love what they do, but to be rational, sensible, kind and considerate. I need them to be open to idea’s, and able to discuss solutions. I need my team to be level headed, and temperate to allow thought to flourish. Passion is the enemy to team based creativity. It causes others to be silent in fear of speaking in contradiction to the passion. Passion leads to tyrannical leadership as it doesn’t allow for the leader to listen and contemplate. It is the antithesis to unity.

Yet for some reason, passion is used as an acceptable excuse for poor behavior. I think this is due to a misunderstanding of the word and its usage. My hope is that in educating others on what the word means, I might be able to improve behavior and thereby improve the ability of those I lead to work together in unity.

--

--

--

Hiram Seth Whitmer is a visionary leader and influencer with a passion for executing the complete turnaround of healthcare organizations

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Life-Changing Lessons From LinkedIn Accelerate-U Conference, San Diego

CQ_Core_Combat | Diwakar Swaroop | Lam Research | ME

Help the Low Skilled Ride out the Rise of the Robots

Why Failure Destroy Egos

Upward Brainstorming: How to Brainstorm Effectively with Your Team

If you don’t come out of this quarantine with a new skill, your side hustle started and more…

CS371p Fall 21: William Kurtz

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Seth Whitmer

Seth Whitmer

Hiram Seth Whitmer is a visionary leader and influencer with a passion for executing the complete turnaround of healthcare organizations

More from Medium

Never Mind

In homage to people who understand things

Learning to say NO

Adam Allan BSA — Who is He? And Why Should We Care?