23% of employees “love their Job” but… 49% “love their work”

High performers consistently say they “love” what they do.  They don’t say “like” or “enjoy,” but “LOVE.”  Coincidence?  I think not.  Looking for proof?  Next time you encounter an exceptional hotel receptionist, waiter/waitress, nurse, teacher, grocery checkout person, or anyone else who excels at their work, ask them why they’re so good.  What you will hear is “I really love what I do.”  That L word!  

How do people arrive at loving what they do?  Four things come to mind:
1. They find an activity that’s exhilarating and results in positive energy.  
2. They learn the accompanying skills and steps very quickly and assimilate them naturally.
3. Practice isn’t a routine or exercise, but a natural progression to daily improvement and impact, and
4. Growth progresses in giant leaps, versus small gradual steps.

Now don’t get me wrong, they also have to do things that they don’t love or even like for that matter, but they do report being at the top of their game when they are allowed to spend at least 60% of their time on those things they “love.”  Probably the most significant gift we can give to people is to help them discover the things they love to do.  Then, we can “clear the path” of static energy (those things that draw us off course and interrupt natural flow) and set each person up for practice, progress and perfection.  Great musicians report that they practice until their energy and instruments become one.  

A person’s “job” needs to align to what one loves to do – not 100% of the time, but at least more than half.  When the routines, prescribed steps or activities become primary or worst yet, energy zapping, well, isn’t that a true formula for mediocrity all around?  Tasks and events are indeed easier to manage, but doesn’t the performance stay ordinary nonetheless?  

Curt Coffman is co-host of the show A Great Place to Work  on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.  He and his co-cost, Dr. Kathie Sorensen are founding partners of The Coffman Organization, Inc. and co-authors of the soon to be released Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch: The Secret to Extraordinary Performance.

Curt Coffman, MBA, is a New York Times Bestselling Author, researcher, business scientist, and consultant to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 organizations. He co-authored one of the best-selling management books of all time, First Break All the Rules, What the World’s Greatest Managers do Differently and Follow this Path; How the World’s Greatest Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential.

Dr. Kathie Sorensen’s expertise and passion lies in the development of human talent. A former global practice leader for talent selection and development at the Gallup Organization, she has personally studied thousands of top performers across industries and roles. Her leadership and management development work has touched the lives of individuals, managers and leaders, helping people in all roles build a better place to work.

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