Friday Thoughts: A Memo About Passion (CAC-Style)
In Soup by Jon Gordon, Nancy is the new CEO of Soup, Inc., but the company is struggling and her job, her reputation, and the entire company’s existence is on the line. In order to save Soup, Inc., she first has to figure out what makes companies great, and then second, she has to implement what she discovers.
While researching what makes companies great, she discovers one thing great companies have in common is passion. Nancy then drafts a memo about passion and shares it with all of the company’s employees. I loved her passion memo so much, I’ve adapted it to make it more specific for us.
A Memo About Passion (CAC-style)
If we as a school are going to provide each student the highest quality academic, spiritual, social, and physical education in an encouraging Christian environment, then we need to infuse passion into our classrooms and into each other. This means that we must be a school that is filled with passionate people. In the past, educators could be lukewarm and mediocre and still be successful. Not anymore.
Now, in today’s educational environment, your passion and your purpose must be greater than your challenges. To be successful you have to be willing to work harder, learn more, practice longer, lead better, smile more, and love deeper, and this requires passion.
Passion wakes you up 30 minutes earlier. It dials your phone one more time to communicate with one more parent. It motivates you to grade one more stack of papers. It drives you to plan a more engaging and meaningful lesson. It moves you to meet with one more student after a long day. It inspires you to help a struggling colleague. It pushes you to make connections with kids. Passion transforms schools, powers champions, and fuels winning teams.
“What about someone who has a low-paying job or who is in a job that, quite frankly, is hard to be passionate about?” you might ask. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and it’s not the job or the money you are being paid, but rather, it’s the passion you bring to your job that matters. After all, I’ve met bus drivers who are more passionate about their jobs than professional athletes making millions of dollars. I’ve worked my way up in countless jobs, and I was as passionate about student teaching as I am about being principal of this school.
Sure, I realize that not everyone is going to be passionate about all their daily responsibilities associated with their job. I’m certainly not passionate about everything I am required to do each day. However, in these cases, focus on the one aspect of your job that you are passionate about. You can be passionate about the organization you work for. You can be passionate about your colleagues and your students, helping them improve, grow, and succeed. You can be passionate about our mission. You can be passionate about making a difference.
To all those in our school who feel they aren’t able to express their passion because they are in the wrong position and would rather be doing something else, I want you to be honest about this. We will do everything in our power to find a role or position in the school that allows you to use your gifts and strengths to serve our school with passion. And, if there are no jobs that you are passionate about at CAC, and you are meant to do something else, that’s okay, too. We will do everything we can to help you find another job and live your passion. This is good for you and your future, and it’s also good for us.
Working somewhere else to live your passion will help you thrive, and it will also make room in our school for those who are passionate about CAC—and with a school filled with passionate people we, too, will thrive.
While I believe CAC is already a great place full of passionate people, Nancy’s message is too good not to share. I hope by reading this adapted memo, you are encouraged and filled with even more passion. Remember, what we do every single day matters every single day to every single student, and the only way to be successful is to be passionate about what we do.
(To find out if Nancy is able to save her job and turn things around at Soup, Inc., check out Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture by Jon Gordon.)