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Passion Killers in the Workplace

Updated on October 24, 2008

I was listening to an interview recently with the author of the book "Liberating Passion – How Global Leaders Produce Winning Results". The interviewer asked him if he had a magic wand and could eliminate the biggest "passion killer" out there today what would it be. The author replied "…for most of us it is when we feel that what we're working on doesn't matter and that we don't matter..."

Which made me start thinking about what other passion killers exist in our organizations and the organizations we work with?

Here’s my short list

Office politics

I work from home part time now and I find that to a great extent I no longer have to deal with the minor flare-ups that tend to occur when any group of people work together. These can often end up being a huge drain on your time and mental resources as well, making you feel emotionally drained at the end of the day.

Unfair treatment of yourself or a fellow worker

While this could be merely a perception or reality often employees have reported feeling demotivated after incidents where they felt they were misjudged or a fellow coworker was treated unfairly.

Unrealistic Expectations

With more and more people being laid off employees are often called on to perform the duties of many. While some employees may enjoy the challenge there are others that may end up feeling frustrated since their skill set may not match the tasks.

Unpleasant Working Environments

Often little things repeated many many many many many times can become huge annoyances – to the point that you one day burst into tears about a header that refuses to left justify itself in your document. Noisy co-workers, noisy fax machines, poor work station set up, lack of privacy can all work together to create an unpleasant atmosphere to work in.

Burn Out

Working too long and too intensely is one of the quickest ways to kill passion for something you once deeply enjoyed. I know because I am the biggest culprit. This can either be self-produced or created by supervisors or managers. You can’t eat ice cream all day and expect to love it after four tubs!

The fact that my list is short should be evidence that I actually work with a great team of people. I'm sure there are others out there that aren't as fortunate and i'd love to hear your stories and thoughts.


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