How Passion Impacts your Presence

When people watch you day to day, they get a pretty good idea of how you feel about your life, your choices, and your job.  It doesn’t take long for someone to figure out if you LOVE what you are doing.  Recently I had distinct experiences where I could tell who loved what they were doing, and because of that, it influenced how I felt. 

Recently, I went to Benihana’s twice in the same two-week time period.  Benihanas is a hibachi-style restaurant where the chef puts on a show with their mad cooking skills. The first time my family visited, we had a young man as our chef.  He was a happy, energetic, and passionate young man.  He was interacting and joking around with the toddlers at the table, smiling to his eyes, and having a GREAT time.  The next week we went and had a different chef.  Almost instantly, I could tell this man didn’t enjoy his job.  When our rambunctious engaging table said hello, he grunted at us and only smiled twice.  This man was going through the motions.  Although he could do better at the technical art of hibachi cooking (he flipped the rice bowl beautifully), he didn’t make me feel like he cared about our experience.  Our first chef might not have been as good at the technical part; he made the night for myself and my three-year-old. Later I found out the second chef had been there for over 20 years.

Not long after this, I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert.  Here I saw a side by side comparison of this in action.  Every musician in DMB is beyond talented; he likely has the best horns and keyboardist in the industry.  But again, passion for the job directly affected how I experienced each person.  Rashawn – the trumpet player – has been with the band since 2005.  He often looked as if he was going through the motions of playing the tunes and was no longer in love with the process of bringing joy and pure music to the crowd.  In direct opposition, there was Carter – the drummer – who is one of the founding band members.  He is always smiling and grooving, and you can tell that although he has played the songs millions of times, he still loves every moment of the show.  

These two experiences made me think about how these little moments and stories I wrote in my head could be translated into my brand.  How I can help subject matter experts, participants, and myself show us as our best selves.  How we can show our passions when we think nobody is watching.  There are a few steps in which we can choose to show our passion

  1. Remembering that it might be your hundredth time doing this, but it is brand new to the people sitting in front of you.  You have to keep your message fresh, so they get the message, and you don’t get the repetition.
  2. Focusing on why you are sharing your message and what made you want to share it in the beginning.
  3. Know that it doesn’t matter that you are struggling – the audience should only see joy and passion.
  4. Get your power song, meditation, or mantra that will help you get through the harder days.
  5. Ask yourself, “why am I the one that GETS to share this message?” So often, when we do one thing over and over, we think we HAVE to do something, and that one-word switch makes all the difference.

In every job, every part of life, we have to do things we don’t want to.  We often choose to take our resentment of those less fun aspects into all our interactions.  Why not take the enjoyable aspects into our less than ideal duties? But if we focus on the fun parts, we will always show our passion and desire to create an exceptional experience. 


Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at

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