Leading with passion and why you need to find yours

These days, in business articles and periodicals the word “passion” appears so often that it feels overused.

Many of us know several friends, colleagues and even great leaders who aren’t following their passion. Often, people follow a specific track out of school and regularly get “locked in” and wind up being driven away from what truly makes them happy.

When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. It fuels you — it drives you to push harder to be a better leader. There may not be a more important factor in business, or in life. Having a passion and energy for everything you do makes things easy, and is contagious to those around you.

But what if you don’t know what your passion is? What if you don’t know your “Why?” I recommend finding time to self-reflect, and soul-search to better understand what drives you.

Fuel your spirit

Through my own self-reflection, I discovered my passion was the fan experience, particularly at minor league baseball games.

This stemmed from my childhood growing up around the world of sports. I am sure many people would be steered to the high-profile aspects of the industry, such as major league team ownership or player representation, but I was always so taken by the fans and the experience of attending a game.

There’s nothing that energizes me more than seeing a family smiling and laughing at one of our games, and the letters of support from our fans only drives my passion toward making the experience one that will create lifelong memories.

In fact, my passion is what drove me to start Fast Forward Sports Group LLC, and become a minor league baseball team owner. I made sure to capture it in the company’s mission statement:

To deliver lasting and memorable experiences for families night after night, by creating a fun, safe, and unique environment where people can rewind and slow down from life’s paces to laugh, cheer and enjoy time with the people they care about most — all in a rich and lively community setting, at an affordable price.

Find your ‘Why’

Finding your passion is what many people never identify and define. Be sure to look beyond the essentials like your family, and a strong core (spiritually, or in your own set of core values). We see company mission statements every day, but what is your personal mission statement? What is your “Why?”

Once you find that, doors will open, and ever so quickly. It will help ignite the passion, which will spur on personal success and development, as well as business leadership and productivity.

Ken Babby is owner/CEO of Akron Baseball LLC, the parent company of the Akron RubberDucks.