Sustaining Your Passion as a Non-Profit Leader

How do you know that you will still feel energized in your role for the next 10 or even 20 years?

23 May 2016, by Halftime Talent Solutions in Research, Thought Leadership

So you’re thinking about making the life-changing transition from the marketplace to a leadership role within a non-profit, but how do you know that you will still feel energized for this role in the next 10 or even 20 years?

Today, many marketplace leaders are foregoing traditional retirement and pursuing causes that they believe they are passionate about leading. But is the passion really there? In the New Testament the word passion actually had a negative connotation. It is associated with baser passions like lust or evil desires. The New Testament word more closely tied to the modern notion of passion is compassion. Compassion, in the Biblical sense, is part of the person’s core values, the heart issues that propel actions. (Lorg, 2015) Part of understanding what you are passionate about comes from having a strong sense of knowing who you are in Christ. The individuals that pursue organizations they are passionate about leading aren’t just excited about the cause, they know that it is their ultimate calling.

At Halftime Talent, we work with marketplace leaders to determine the core values of their heart. The leaders that understand the importance of matching their personal mission with the mission of non-profits they pursue are the ones that find true success. As a result, they grow more energized each year and the organization flourishes. When their personal passion overlaps with the core mission of the organization they are serving, even the tough days can be put into perspective, knowing that they are in the place God has prepared for them to invest their time, talent and treasure.

We find that passionate leaders also have the capability to lead with the vision that the cause is bigger than them, bigger even than the organization they are growing. A secret to maintaining ongoing passion for the mission is coming up with a vision so big that it requires consistent commitment. This bigger vision can transform the entire way the organization is run and motivates others to see beyond their own roles. It’s also an opportunity for the leader to make positive changes within the organization and set higher goals for the future.

So thinking 10 to 20 years in the future, how will you know that you’re still in the right place? One way to gauge where you are is to focus on your impact. How much of an impact have you made, are you making? Chances are pretty good that if you’ve landed a role in your passion area, the impact you have made is immeasurable.

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that excitement will ebb and flow, but passion is a sustaining force that brings energy to that role. Passion is something God ignites in us when we are fulfilling his calling in our lives.