One of our Fellows recently asked whether we thought the “titans of modern industry”—the Rockefellers, Carnegies, and JP Morgans—were passionate or not. What about Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? It is almost impossible to answer that question without having direct knowledge of an individual—such figures have moved into the realm of mythology and even their own accounts of their actions and motivations were written under the veil of looking backward over a successful career. But the Fellow’s underlying question is more relevant: Why does passion matter? If we were to say that such leaders and influencers may or may not have had passion, as we define it, then who cares about passion?
While ambition and drive are sufficient in a world that is predictable, they are not enough in a world of constant change and disruption.