vPsychology for Business

We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

Volume 3, Number 11                                                                                                       May 31, 2002


Psychology for Business is a free e-mail newsletter written by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass (pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com), Dr. John Weaver (jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com), and Dr. Lynda Dahlke (ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com), business psychologists and independent consultants. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website,
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We invite you to forward this newsletter, in its entirety, to your colleagues.
New!  Subscriber Corner.  Starting with today’s newsletter, we will highlight some of our subscribers at the end of each issue. It is an opportunity for you to learn more about other organizations who are part of the Psychology for Business family. It is also a chance for you to highlight your business efforts. To have your organization listed, please send a brief (4 to 7 lines) description that will tell readers about who you are, what you do, and how to get in contact with you. This service is offered to our readers free of charge (although we hope you will share the newsletter with lots of your potential customers and that you will encourage them to sign up for Psychology for Business!) on a first come, first served basis.  Send your information to mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com. All of our readers are invited to be listed in Subscriber Corner. Listing does not imply that we endorse any specific business.
An extra for our readers: Receive your FREE copy of 9 Ways to Motivate Your Workforce by clicking on the title or visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/motivate.htm. This paper was prepared for a recent talk by Dr. John Weaver for the Workforce Development Center. If you are interested in having Dr. Weaver speak for your organization, please contact him at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.

Feature Article:

Do You Have Passion for Your Work?

By Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D., Independent Consultant providing Psychology for Business

Recently I was meeting with an executive who I thought was doing an excellent job.  His company was flourishing and he appeared to have very few personnel problems.  He said that his closest employee confidants, however, told him they saw something quite different.  While I listened to his recital of the concerns of the compassionate workers, I began to realize that the successes in the business have taken a toll on the leader.  The exhausted leader had been slowly losing his enthusiasm and passion for his work.  The employees were not complaining, the profits were going up, and the company was ready to grow again.  It was not what seemed to obviously be going well that was the problem, it was the executive’s loss of interest, his apparent boredom, the guilt of compromising family time, personal time, values, and (on one occasion) slipping into the ever-so-avoided pitfall of sacrificing his own strong ethics, in order to get a small increase in (temporary) profits. What was happening?  Why was this happening?  What could be done?

Those individuals, who could see the changes in the executive, tried numerous subtle strategies to alter the course of the plummeting morale of their leader.  They all liked this man. They greatly appreciated his thoughtfulness when their concerns were affecting the work they were doing.  The attempts to encourage and support this beloved man were all seemingly ineffective.  Nothing was noticeably making a difference.  What was wrong?

The Problem

As in many of us, this executive was losing the passion for his work.  Something was missing in his life. 

We all experience ups and downs in our careers.  But when the excitement and passion, for the work we do, begins to slip away, it is time for a re-assessment of what is driving us. What gave us the fire, spirit and satisfaction that once spring-boarded us into our successful careers. 

The need to reawaken the passion for the important things in your life is critical.  What was once the up-lifting enjoyment in what we did before was now becoming the bourdon of routine and the energy drain in every day. 

When we arrive at a critical point in our life, or when something happens to shake up our personal world, we begin to get a new perspective on our life.  The creative imagination and thrill of implementing new innovations into our business world seems less important.  Of course, some of this happens as we reach a significant age crisis, or the realization that we are not where we expected to be at this point in our life.  But this also happens when we have reached a successful time in our career, and began to realize we need something more.  What is it?  Often it is difficult to not only allow ourselves to think about this, but very frightening when we actually start getting an idea of what we might really need or want.

Recently Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, and Daniel Goleman, published an article for the Harvard Business Review, addressing the issue of reawaking a passion for work (and life).  These authors point out the negative effects of “feeling trapped”, “being bored”, “not being the person you want to be”.  They suggest that “many people confuse achieving day-to-day business goals with performing truly satisfying work” (HBR, 2002). 

The need to know what you want, and where you are going with your life and career, must be addressed, or (as with the executive identified above) you will slowly deteriorate into something, or someone, you do not want to be.

The Solution

Though no guaranteed solution exists, and every solution is different for everyone, the core principles of how to start your search, involves taking the time to reflect on; 1) What you have done; 2) What is important to you; 3) Who is important to you; 4) What risks you are willing to take at this time; 5) Conceptualizing the possible future you could expect; 6) Doing something to get moving.

1) What you have doneThis step requires writing down your past accomplishments.  This must be completed in two steps.  The first step is identifying the progressive achievements that contributed to your upward movement toward the position you have at this time.  The second is assigning a value to each achievement.  (For example, on a 1 – 7 scale, where 7 is the most satisfying and 1 was not rewarding at all, you place a number next to each, that represents its value to you)  It is important to not only look at status, power, material gains, etc. that have been part of your successes, but more importantly the satisfaction, meaning, and growth each accomplishment provided you. 

2) What is important to you?  This involves reviewing the primary components of the accomplishments you have had, by reflecting on the accomplishments that had a value of 5, 6, or 7.  These gave you the most fulfillments.  Look at the common themes.  Did they give you security, new contacts (friends), adventure, new creative challenges? 

3) Who is important to you?  Possibly some of the employees you work with give you encouragement, stimulate new ideas, and push you to do or be more.  The people in our personal lives perhaps have praised and loved us so much we could be free to do the things we needed to do to get where we are now.  How do you treat them?  Is the passion for work affected by the distancing from them?  Do you include them in your important decisions?  Who gets the time?  Why?  Who can you not afford to lose in your life?

4) What are the risks you are willing to take at this time?  Assessing the demands on you and your family, financially, emotionally, with respect to time, etc., all must be considered in order to realistically evaluate what you can do at this stage of your career (and life).  What are the important things in my life that I have not done?  Look for ways to do them, not for excuses.  We can do more things in our lives that will increase our passionFor most of us, the excitement in one part of our life carries over to other parts of our life, like revitalizing energy for work.  Have you tried some of the innovative ideas you have always had for your job.  Why not?  What is holding you back?  Go to others and solicit support.  Do the little and big things that your risk tolerance can bear.  Confront the people and situations that hold you back.  Like all successful businesses, personal change and growth is continually needed for health and vitality.  If you don’t take the risks now, when will you?  Or will you ever take the risks?  There is never a time when you can’t take some risks, as small or as big as they may be.

5) Conceptualizing the possible future you could expect Vision is critical.  You must be able to foresee the possibilities.  The old adage “nothing ventured, nothing gained” reminds us that we must first “see the moon, believe we can get there, have a sense of the vitality and excitement it can give us, and have an idea of what will be like. Then we will take the steps to venture into the unknown, working on getting there. If you get started on something, you can prevent much of the worry about what could go wrong. If you DO SOMETHING NOW, and correct the mistakes, or make the adjustments to “real” problems as you move ahead, versus attempting to solve all the problems before you even know what they are going to be, you will give yourself the passion and the rewards.  Can you see what changes in your work (or life) will give you the spirit and passion you desire?

6) Doing something to get moving.  As indicated above.  The way to invigorate ourselves with the passion for work is knowing what we want, and not waiting for tomorrow to start working on getting it.  Stop just thinking and dreaming, stop wishing and wanting, stop letting others (or yourself) talk you out of it, JUST DO IT!  No matter what it is that you do, keep the focus on the positives, the progress, and the dream. Always face the direction you are going, (striving for what gave you the success and enjoyment in the past), but never turning around to look back.  It is WHERE YOU ARE GOING TODAY that matters. 

Getting the passion back in your work (and life) is very possible.  There are five choices.

  1. Do nothing (it is the safest but least rewarding)
  2. Change the nature of what you do, or how you do your work now, in your present position (this can be very rewarding). Think of new ways to do old things, better.
  3. Change the position, do something different, for the company you are with now (this can have great rewards, but includes greater risks).
  4. Go somewhere else and try something that you always wanted to do (this involves the greatest risks but could provide the greatest passion).
  5. Change other areas of your life to add missing elements to your life.  Go places, do new things, take time to enjoy things you have always promised yourself you would get to if you only had the time and money, meditate, enjoy family and friends more, or maybe just take more time for yourself to slow down and smell the roses.



About the Author

Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D. is a Harvard and Northwestern University educated psychologist, and has studied in three countries. He has provided 25 years of consultations to government agencies, public and private businesses, and educational institutions and was a union president and negotiator. His advising to international corporations offers the benefit of multicultural understanding of organizations that is rare in the field of business psychology consulting. Finally, Dr. Glass has experience on the equal opportunity commission of a large suburban city.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. Paul Glass is available for consultation or coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 544-9918 (office) by e-mail at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com or:

Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D.
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

Have you ever considered hiring your own business coach to help you accomplish your goals? According to a recent article by Steven Berglas, titled, Dangers of Executive Coaching, in the Harvard Business Review (June 2002), "I believe that in an alarming number of situations, executive coaches who lack rigorous psychological training do more harm than good."  Don’t take a chance, find an executive coach who has extensive psychological training. For a FREE ½ hour coaching consultation: call us at (262) 789-2728 or email us at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com and find out if coaching could be right for you.

Archives:  All of our previous newsletters are archived at http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/eNewsletter.htm.  Check out the series on The Vitamin C’s of an Emotionally Healthy Workplace, the series on Dealing with Difficult Employees, links to our Published Articles and our newest series, Triple "A" Leadership.

Save your company big money!  Reduce the frustrations of your managers.  Learn what works. Hot off the press: Your first practical guide to Managing Difficult Personalities in Your Workplace!  Very user friendly.  Extremely practical. Order your copy of this new book, Managing Difficult Personalities in the Workplace: A Manager’s Practical Guide, by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass.

Send your name, address, number of copies desired and a check made out to Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass for $12 per book (plus $2 shipping per book).  Or order 10 or more copies for $10 per book and $6.95 for shipping (up to 50 copies).  No fluff, this book gets right to the point.

Send orders to:

Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188   

Phone: (262) 544-6486    Fax: (262) 544-6377    Email: mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

To order the booklet: 41 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF YOUR WORKPLACE, send a check for $6 and a self-addressed, double stamped business size envelope to:

Dr. John Weaver
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188

If you would like to order multiple copies, send an email to mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com to request a price sheet.  Order in quantity and save.


Announcing FREE one hour virtual classes by telephone conference call (you only pay for long distance telephone charges, usually $4 to $6 per class):

Friday, June 14, 2002 at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time:

It is not enough to react to a violent action after it has occurred. In this seminar we will discuss practical steps your organization can take to lower the risks for this terrible tragedy. Included will be information about resources for your organization.

To register: Send an email to mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbuisnes.com?subject=RISK. Please include your name, your organization and your email address.  Upon registration you will receive the telephone conference number to call and instructions for how to connect.


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If you would like to learn more about Dr. Paul Glass, Dr. John Weaver, and Dr. Lynda Dahlke.  please visit us at our website:

© Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved. Paul Kenneth Glass. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.


Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.


If you have a question or topic you would like to see covered, send your request to mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

Subscriber Corner:  Ivan Temes, Leadership & Loyalty: mailto:itemes@mindspring.com (650) 494-1526
Would you like to have your organization participate in a one-hour customer skills education session that leads to dramatic improvements in morale, teamwork, loyalty and customer satisfaction? Ivan Temes, who led two turnarounds in directing customer care worldwide for multinationals and dotcoms, has crafted a unique approach to personnel growth and customer satisfaction. Training often produces limited results; however, training combined with removal of organizational barriers creates an air of enthusiasm which is welcomed by employees and customers. He also includes a strong dose of "common sense."
Dr. John Weaver publishes another newsletter, co-authored by Darlene Weaver, THE CENTERED PENDULUMIt is our firm belief that lifelong patterns of “being” (personality, attitudes, emotions) and “doing” (lifestyle, adaptability, coping skills) interact with our genes and environment to create conditions of a healthy or a diseased brain.  If you would like to read previous issues of the Centered Pendulum newsletter or to subscribe, please visit the archives at http://www.centeredpendulum.org/newsletters.htm.