Take two people. One has more skills and ability, but the other has incredible passion for what they do; an energy and intensity that is contagious. They know that they’re not as good [yet], but their desire to get better and their work ethic makes up for any deficiency. Who would you rather have on your team?
I always pick passion over pure skills because these are the people that will carry an idea forward. They can see what needs to be done and because they don’t rely purely on their overdeveloped skills, they are capable of thinking laterally.
This is because passion is a force multiplier and can be represented by this formula:
(Skills + Experience) x Passion
Passion amplifies (and sometime compensates for) the effects of skills and experience.
According to the Personal MBA:
Force Multipliers are tools that help you Amplify your effort to produce more output. A hammer is a force multiplier. Investing in Force Multipliers means that you’ll get more done with the same amount of effort. Force Multipliers free up your time, energy and attention to focus on building your business instead of simply operating it
Every four years during the World Cup, you can see this in action. The USA team is often underpowered in terms of skills and top level experience, but their passion drives them to overachieve. The England team is their antithesis as it quite often consists of highly skilled and experienced players but they lack passion and therefore typically under-perform as a team. The teams that end up in the final usually have all three – skills, experience and passion.
Naturally this does not apply to all professions. I do not want an under-skilled, but passionate heart-surgeon to operate on me or an airline pilot who loves to fly but isn’t quite up to standard. But the exceptions are few.
In my own business, I often reward and promote those with passion above those without. You cannot teach it, but you should certainly nurture, encourage and reward it. Imagine what you could do with a team of highly skilled and passionate employees all with a single, shared purpose. Force-multiplier indeed.