Sunday, March 04, 2007

Passion – The Good and Evil

In many of my of the jobs I have had, there would eventually come 'review time'. I was often criticized as being "…too out spoken… unapproachable… pissy… mouthy… boat-rocker… pot-stirrer", while, at the same time, being praised for "team work… innovation… stick-to-itiveness… and lots of hard work" but above all passion.

Passion is a funny thing. We love it when things are going good. As soon as things turn bad, passion is mistaken for aggressive or overly negative. I have had to defend my self many times on this point. Critical != Negative. In fact, outspoken people can be the ones who care the most. Never discount a bigmouth just because they are willing to voice the unpopular opinion. Besides, I like to believe people can see right through being negative just for negative’s sake.

A friend I was working with recently told me our Project Manager remarked to him, about me, "Man, that guy bitches a lot." And I do, when I see things aren't going as well they could be. I am also the first person to pat a team mate on the back and say, "job well done."

I spend more time at my job than I do with my kids. I need to care. That's when I know it's time to go, when I stop caring. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction you get from giving a crap about the work you do. I think that's a big part of being a professional designer, you can't phone it in. Designers get frustrated and mad and defensive because they are in a place where subjective opinion runs amuck. We have to stand up for the decisions we make and defend them against second-guessers on a pretty constant basis. I don't think that happens without passion.



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