On Passion

  • ‘Do what you love; love what you do.’
  • “I believe the people who are most successful are those who do what really interests them. There is no substitute for energy and enthusiasm.”

-Jacques Nasser, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI

  • “Being a CEO is an awesome responsibility. It takes talent to get the job. It takes drive to keep up the job. But what it takes to be the job is passion.

Passion for what they do is so great among the CEOs who wrote to me that I practically feel their enthusiasm as I read their words. No wonder they took the time to writes such meaningful and eloquent letters!

Passion, I learned, is not fleeting emotion. It resonates i hearing and feeling range, and then is passed along for everyone to experience. Passion is contagious. That is why it is so important for a leader to possess it, and to express it with great energy and consistency.”

-Douglas Barry, Author of ‘Wisdom for a Young CEO’

  • On Passion:

Enthusiasm, which, though founded neither on reason nor divine revelation, but rising from the conceits of warmed or overweening brain, works yet, where it once gets footing, more powerfully on the persuasions and actions of men than either of those two, or both together: men being most forwardly obedient to the impulses they receive from themselves, and the whole man is sure to act more vigorously where the whole man is carried by a natural motion. For strong conceit, like new principle, carries all easily with it when, got above common sense and freed from all restraint of reason and check of reflection, it is heightened into a divine authority, in concurrence with our own temper and inclination.

Though the odd opinions and extravagant actions enthusiasm has run men into were enough to warn them against this wrong principle, so apt to misguide them both in their belief and conduct: yet the of love something extraordinary, the ease and glory it is to be inspired and be above the common and natural ways of knowledge, so flatters many men’s laziness, ignorance, and vanity that, when once they are got into this way of immediate revelation, of illumination without search, and of certainty without proof and without examination, it is hard matter to get them out of it. Reason is lost upon them, they are above it; they see the light infused into their understandings, and cannot be mistakes: it is clear and visible there, like the light of bright sunshine, shows itself, and needs no other proof but its own evidence; they feel the hand of God moving them wihtin and the impulsed of th Spirit, and cannot be mistaken in what they feel. Thus they support themselves and are sure reason hath nothing to do with what they see and feel in themselves: what they have a sensible experience admits no doubt, needs no probation. Would he not be ridiculous who should require to have it proved to him that the light shines and that he sees it? It is its own proof and can have no other. When the spirit brings light into our minds, it dispels darkness. We see it as we do that to of the sun at noon, and need not the twilight of reason to show it us. This light from heaven is strong, clear, and pure, carries its own demonstration with it, and we may as rationally take a glow-worm to assist us to discover the sun as to examine the celestial ray by our dim candle, reason.

– John Lock, from ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’

  • ” One thing I learned… is that I could never take a job simply because it might look good on my resume. I have to do things I enjoy.”

Raymond V. Gilmartin, Chairman, President and CEO, Merck & Co., Whitehouse Station, NJ

  • ” It is more about your passion, drive, and belief in yourself than it is about your intellect, who you know, or good luck.”

-Roger Valine, CEO, Vision Service Plan, Sacramento, CA

  • ” Passionate people get things done. Passion for doing what you’re called to do resonatea in every fiber of a true leader. Passion shows. Passionate people energize other people and build enthusiasm. And as you surely know, enthusiasm is contagious.”

-Leonard Roberts, Chairman and CEO, RadioShack Corp., Fort Worth, TX

  • Education will prepare you for anything in life, honesty is one of the primary and necessary ingredients, and a sincere love of what you’re doing is the fuel that makes it all run.”

Summerfield K. Johnston, Jr., CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises,  Atlanta, GA

  • “Working hard and enjoying it are not only compatible but essential for long-term success.”

-H.A.Wagner, Chairman and CEO, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, PA

  • “People follow people who care about what they are doing. You’ve got to show people you have passion. You’ve got to be prepared to open up and say, ‘I believe this’. “

-Mark Harris, Country General Manager, IBM, South Africa

  • “We started the company on a wing and a prayer and wanted to make boardshorts, stay near the beach, keep surfing and have some fun. My career just happened. I didn’t  premeditate this. I think it was may natural instinct of being entreprenuer, being honest, being loyal to workers and friends and asking o people has led me to good leadership.”

Bob McKnight, Chairman of the Board, Quiksilver, Huntington Beach, CA

  • “You must be better than a good communicator – you must be a translator of dreamss, a demonstrator of passion for pursuing the dream…”

-Rosemarie B. Greco, Director, Office of Health Care Reform, Harrisburg, PA

  • ” Embark on career where you can not only be good, but be great. It must be something that comes naturally to you, where you have a gift, and that you love.”

-Steve Odland, Chairman, President, and CEO, Auto Zone Inc., NJ


NOTE: All of the above statements were taken from the book, ‘Wisdom for a Young CEO’ by Douglas Barry.


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