The Perfect Quadrant and the Passion Totem: Uncovering the passion in your organization

“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.” --Carl Jung

How do you transform your life, your work, your organization into one that is driven by the passions of the people involved? A lot of people think that is a fantasy. We think it’s the  Perfect Quadrant.

Last blog I recounted learning about the Perfect Quadrant after a near-fatal accident changed my world view. This is the quadrant:

  • Hell: This is an area where you don’t really have much skill and you have no love for the work.
  • Trap: This is an area where you have a lot of skill and experience, but you no longer have any  passion for the work.
  • Emerging Heaven: You have yet to develop your skills here, but you love the work and wish you could spend a ton of time doing it.
  • Heaven: This is where your skills and your passion meet. This is where you can work  and your work is brilliant. You rarely get hungry or tired because you’re so charged up by what you’re doing.

The key is find where the tasks of your life or business belong and make sure the right people are doing the jobs they’re passionate about. But first, you have to remind people what it is to feel passion. Sylvia Stern, Image Strategist here in Austin, started me on the path to that discovery with one simple question.

Build your Passion Statement

Go back to a time when you felt passionate about the work that you were doing or possibly when you reinvented yourself. What were the triggers that gave you the drive to start your business?  Write down a statement or keywords that remind you of that reason or passion. Use this statement as a driver to build your Passion totem.

Build your Passion Totem
You can’t identify your passion until you connect with it. For some of us, that means resurrect it from wherever we buried it deep within. The power of suggestion; imagery, language and music are powerful tools to awaken deep passion.

We use a Totem—defined as an emblem or group of symbolic images used to signify a clan or tribe. Our Totem identifies us as individuals. Through a Totem exercise, fashioning snippets of emotional representations has the potential to awaken feelings you’ve stored somewhere in your memory. Those emotional triggers can rewire your brain and help you remember why you started your business or reinvention in the first place.

Pinterest can be a valuable tool to build and share totems. We invite you to share your Totem on our collection of Passion totems.

Build your Perfect Quadrant
Once you’ve pulled all those possibly long-buried passions to the surface, you can build your Perfect Quadrant.

Step 1 - Brainstorm every activity that must be done by someone in your organization and your life. Start with a group at the top of your list then the individual tasks you do for each.

Here’s my short list. Your list will be much longer.

Family Caregiving Business
Picking up the girls early from school Managing mom's care SEO Coaching and training
  Visiting Project management
Planning events   Business development
Family: Travel   Keyword research
    Managing relationships
    Speaking
Family: Travel   Attending workshops
Cleaning house   Analytics review

Step 2 - Assign each of the skills and activities to a quadrant.  This only works if you are fearlessly honest about each skill or passion.

Passion Quotient

  1. Hell - You have no desire or skill  to do this job
  2. Trap High skill low passion
  3. Emerging Heaven -  Low skill, high passion
  4. Heaven - High skill, high passion

As you score each activity or skill, you can graph who is where in the organization. And that reveals gaps.  Nobody likes business management. Everybody likes doing analytics or marketing. Or Joe loves business management, but we have him doing sales. 

The next blog introduces a how to activate passion through action. This is where you can identify SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and apply the power of Kaizen--Good Change.