Satisfaction, engagement or passion at work?

Jan 14, 2018
Satisfaction, engagement or passion at work

A few years ago I attended a conference about “engagement at work” (or “arbeidsglede” in Norwegian) and presented my theory about the 3 levels of engagement and how each of them impact performance, innovation and business results. 

First, we have “job-satisfaction”, which of course is good but not as good as it can get. To be “satisfied” is naturally better than not to be, but we can also be satisfied with collecting a paycheck and not having to do much for it. Average performance and results and little innovation are the most probable outcomes of “satisfaction”. 

Above “job-satisfaction” we have “engagement” which is great, and something more and more leaders aspire to create in the workplace. Engagement means that we are invested in our work, we engage with it, do our best and care about the outcome. We challenge our thinking, collaborate with others and aspire to do great work. Better than average performance and results and a decent amount of innovation are usually the outcome of “engagement”. Tons of research proves this to be true.

But if we are looking to create something extraordinary, something that will make a difference, that people will remember, that will change things, not only for something “a bit better” but for something truly different, important and amazing; satisfaction and engagement just won’t be enough. Then we need PASSION! “Nothing of greatness has ever been accomplished without passion” (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel). I have experienced this again and again to be true.

The two men I shared the piano with on stage that day can only be described as PASSIONATE about what they did: Janove Ottesen, singer and musician in the successful band Kaizers Orchestra and Jon-Frede Engdahl, founder of the wildly popular 100% organic, Oslo-based restaurant Maemo; the first Nordic-based restaurant to achieve 3 stars in Guide Michelin. 

The 3 of us agreed that it was PASSION that kept us going, inspired every moment of our visionary endeavours, helped us handle the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, the fun and the not so, and most importantly; it was what kept the fire in our bellies alive and made us never ever give up on our dreams! 

To make passion my job, my purpose and my driving force is probably one of the best choices I have made for my life. And the best part of it all? The more I lean into it, the more I share of it, the more it grows! 

Have you found your passion yet? Then never let it go! 

If you’re still searching – keep on looking! It’s there, somewhere, just waiting to be found.