So I'm on the Subway in New York and a group of New York Yankees baseball fans get on. They were vocally expressive and clearly passionate about the Yankees and that evening's game in the Bronx. At each successive stop until I got off the train, more Yankees fans got on filling the train car not only with Yankees logos, but also passion for the team.
As I sat there observing these fans express themselves, I found myself almost becoming a fan myself. Almost. As a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, and in particular Cleveland baseball, it has been ingrained in me that the Yankees are one of the chief rivals of the Cleveland Guardians (then Indians). I grew up and have maintained into adulthood a strong dislike for the Yankees. So, for me to almost become a Yankees face was big.
So, what made the difference?
Their passion was contagious. Seeing their joy and excitement stirred a desire in me to want what they had. It was a force that nearly overcame my lifelong dislike of the team.
Influential leaders are passionate about what they do and the cause they serve. When they express their passion, people around them are drawn in, pay attention, and listen.
As a leader this week, find was to express your passion for what you do and watch your influence grow.