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Author Daniel Pink proclaims, 'Passion is overrated'

Tuesday, August 04, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Management guru Daniel Pink gave a provocative closing keynote at this year’s
NEW Executive Leaders Forum.

Daniel Pink, bestselling author and host of National Geographic Television's "Crowd Control," shared his leadership principles in a closing keynote address at the NEW Executive Leaders Forum, July 30, 2015. More than 300 NEW members attended the ninth annual event at the Terranea Resort outside Los Angeles.

Pink urged leaders to "think in questions, not answers” when preparing for challenges. "Interrogative self-talk can be more effective," Pink said. "You're about to do a big pitch at a meeting. You say, 'You can do this,' or be neutral. Here's the third option: Ask yourself, 'Can I do this?'”

Self-questioning forces you to answer, helping you come up with strategies and tactics to optimize success, Pink said.

"Think of Bob the Builder," Pink said. The beloved children's character is "a paragon of interrogative self-talk,” Pink observed. "Bob says, 'Can we fix it? Yes we can!' – and then he talks about how they'll fix it."

Passion overrated

Pink said "Passion is overrated.” Writing articles at night while a law student, speechwriter and attorney, Pink came realized his passion only after his wife pointed it out to him. " "If you had said to me, 'what's your passion?.' I would have said 'huh?," said Pink, adding that what you do is often what serves other people. "Asking yourself 'what's your passion?' is all about you," he continued. "'What's your 'question' is all about what action you're going to unleash."

Another Pink principle is "making it personal, ” which he said is an essential component of disruptive leadership.

"There is vulnerability in making it personal," Pink said. He described visiting a pizza parlor and seeing a sign urging any customers with a negative experience to call the owner directly on his cellphone. Curious, Pink dialed the number and spoke to the proprietor. "If I'm going to run this place," the restaurant owner told Pink. "I have to make it personal. "

"Business can be so abstract," Pink reminded Forum attendees. "The only way to make it personal is to be vulnerable."

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