Evoking the Passion for What Drives You

I returned from a business trip last week after visiting a food company that is planning a new project. My plane arrived in Cleveland at 12:15 am and it was 1:45 am before I finally crawled into bed, exhausted but unable to sleep.

In the quiet and darkness, I replayed the events of the day in my mind … preparing for the presentation, meeting the key players and getting to know them, touring their plant several miles away to see how they manufacture their product, understanding their needs and the problems they are trying to solve, identifying and aligning the services we offer that will best fulfill those needs and help solve those problems, and then communicating that message to those key players.

As I had an early morning meeting, I needed some sleep, but I realized I was too excited! 

I love what I do. As an executive, I get to play a very impactful role in the growth and management of a great organization that employs very talented and dedicated people. If we’re successful, we have an opportunity to improve our lives through gainful employment and professional development. But I didn’t fall in love with our business because of that. I didn’t start out with the vision to be an executive in a company. I started out to play a role in the design and construction of buildings.

I was reminded of the origin of my passion on this trip. For Austin to be successful at what we do, we need to understand our clients’ businesses – how they make what they make, what keeps them up at night, where their opportunities are, and how we can help them create facilities that optimize their capital investment that attract employees, keep employees and customers safe – and do so in a more efficient manner. In the four hours spent Thursday with this fascinating company, I was given the opportunity to understand all of that.

During my career, I have had the experience of seeing how much is manufactured each day by people. Whether its airplanes, chocolates, newspapers, tortillas, automobiles, pharmaceuticals or medical devices. Each business, each company we serve features great people, incredible ingenuity in how they orchestrate a highly productive manufacturing process, and a passion for growing their business and competing in their markets. 

And as I walk through those plants, labs and airplane hangars, just as I walk through our offices and jobsites, I know the majority of the people I see depend on that enterprise to provide for their home and family. The opportunity to affect them in a positive way is exciting. When you’re able to marry the skills, intellect, processes and procedures of your team with the needs of your clients and the result is a successful project that benefits everyone involved, it’s exciting!

Hard to sleep with so much excitement going on.

"Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work."

Aldous Huxley

"Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing."

Abraham Lincoln

"Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing."

Donald Trump