Passion is Not Enough by Greg Darley

My friend Greg Darley runs a program called Backstage Leadership that gives normal folks like us the chance to learn directly from beasts like Mark Batterson, Francis Chan, and Pete Wilson. If that wasn’t cool enough, Greg just wrote a book based on all the junk he’s been learning called Passion is Not Enough.

I asked Greg 3 questions about the book, and here’s what he had to say.

Update: Greg agreed to give my readers a 20% discount using the code “Bignose20” at checkout. The link to buy the book is at the end of the interview.

1. Is Passion one of the 4 elements the book title mentions or are there 4 additional elements?

In the book, passion is not one of the main elements.

I consider passion to be the given; the constant in the equation. Our generation is overflowing with passion and the problem is we’ve been told, if we have enough passion, we can do anything. This just isn’t the case. Passion is necessary, but you’ll fall short of accomplishing what you want to if that’s the only tool in your toolbox (or club in your bag, trick in your hat, you get the picture right?)

One of the best examples I use in the book is a personal hero of mine—William Wilberforce. He was a 18th century British Parliamentarian who had a passion to end the Atlantic slave trade. After boldly standing against most of the country the first year, his bill was voted down easily. He worked for a year to get the support and he failed. Most of us would have stepped back and found something different to chase. But not Wilberforce. He had passion, but that wasn’t all. He tried again the next year with the same results. Actually, he tried every year for twenty years until he finally got the slave trade abolished. Twenty years! No one can do that for twenty years on just passion.

2. Is burnout the main consequence to people thinking that passion will be enough when they don’t have the other elements in place?

I don’t think our generation struggles with burnout. We don’t stick with things long enough to burn out. Our problem is that we quit to soon. We give into the lizard brain as Seth Godin talks about. Passion is an emotion and when it runs out, so does our work. But there are other consequences.

When passion is the only driver, the end goal becomes the focus, and the means of getting there can become gray. This then becomes the perfect recipe for a moral or character failure. We are blinded by our pursuit to accomplish our goal and quickly justify our actions to get there. This can ruin families, businesses, churches, careers, economies, and even entire countries. If we are truly to change the world, then how we change the world is as important as what we change in the world.

3. As you’ve worked with amazing leaders in the Backstage Leadership program, what’s the one trait that it seems all of these folks have?

The trait that every single speaker we’ve had for Backstage radiated with was humility.

The very fist session we had when we started the program was with Chuck Colson. Here is a man that has been leading for more than thirty years, written thirty plus books, debated the smartest men in the world, and advised Presidents. During the Q&A with him, someone asked him a question and his answer rocked me to the core. He answered, “I’m not very good at that. I’m sure someone else could speak much better to that.”

The truth was, he could have said anything and every person there would have written it down. But he didn’t. He had the humility to say he didn’t know. That humility has been present with every single influencer we’ve had speak. They are quick to brag on their team’s work or on God for opening doors.

BONUS QUESTION: You’ve known Tyler Stanton since High School. Any quick stories about him that could get you in trouble?

Tyler is a great friend. I don’t think I want to throw him under the bus. Besides, he’s got some other stories that need to be shared. There was the time he risked his life and climbed a huge tree to save those kittens. Ask him about that, he’ll down play it, but it was heroic. There are dozens of stories like that and not enough time to tell them all.

But, I’d be doing an injustice if I didn’t mention that Tyler does have the absolute funniest joke of all time. He calls it the “Mountain Joke”. Every time he’d tell it, he’d have us all gasping for air. He will only tell it for special occasions, so make sure you figure out the most opportune time to ask.

Thanks for your time Greg, and congrats on the book!

For more on Greg’s book, click here, and don’t forget the 20% discount code: Bignose20