Musings on Passion, Life & Organizations

Its amazing to see what passion can do to a person….and an organization.

My wife Tracie and a business partner (Marcy) officially launched their photography business recently (and I couldn’t be prouder of them). The business, named Jordan Brown Photography (you can view their website @, and the pictures that they’ve taken have already started to bring in some business. Not a lot of money mind you…but a little bit.

Both partners still have their ‘day jobs’ and run the photography business in the evenings and on the weekends. Naturally, this has kept them both very busy….but it seems that even though extremely busy, Tracie is extremely happy (and I think Marcy is too). When we talk about the business and photography, I can tell Tracie has a passion for it and really loves taking pictures and learning more about all aspects of photography.

This past weekend, they had a photo shoot for a client on Saturday afternoon and she spent a good portion of the day on Sunday working with the photos in photoshop and working on their website. Not once did she complain that her day was being ‘wasted’ or that she wished she was doing something else. She was truly happy to be doing what she was doing.

I started thinking about the last time I saw passion like that in an organization and I had to think pretty hard to come up with an example.

I sometimes wonder what happens to those bright eyed young people who are passionate about life and their ’causes’ while in high school or college and then somehow, things change. The passion is lost…or at least fades…and those bright eyes dull a bit. I wonder if this dulling happens after leaving college and entering ‘the real world’? I’ve seen a lot of once passionate people enter an organization and very quickly turn into an automaton that ‘goes through the motions’ of corporate life where they do ‘just enough’ to get by.

Could it be that organizations don’t provide an outlet for a person’s passions?  Or…could it be that organizations do so much to require uniformity that they snuff out any passion a person might have had for their job?

I have to wonder how many people in this world are lucky enough to be able to hold on to that passion and do what they truly love doing. Those folks that wake up every day and love to ‘go to work’ have really beat the odds.

How about you? Do you love your job? Do you love commuting ‘x’ hours a day to go to work? Do you work long hours because you love what you do or because you know that your boss expects you to?

If you aren’t passionate about your job, what would you do differently? Change jobs? Change organizations? Would your feelings toward your job change if you were allowed to make your own schedule, spend some of your ‘work life’ engaged in activities that you’re passionate about, work from home or just have a little fun at the office?

There are passionate people within many organizations and there are many organizations that embrace and try to maintain passionate employees but I don’t think this is the majority of people and organizations. There seems to be a movement these days within organizations to find ways to create ‘happiness at work’, but I fear that this is either a fad or that the majority of organizations will try to implement a ‘happiness process’ that will try to force happiness on their employees much like they try to force ‘teamwork’ on them through ‘team building exercise’.

Anyone know of any organizations who are going out of their way to help people remain passionate about their jobs/careers? I’d love to hear of some examples.