A headshot of Mike Davis, CEO of Mathnasium. Mike Davis is a middle-aged white man with dark hair. He is wearing a dark blue blazer over a white button-up shirt.
Mike Davis, CEO of Mathnasium, says that leaders can inspire passion by creating a work environment that encourages autonomy, collaboration, and a sense of purpose. — Mike Davis

If you could create your own fantasy board of directors, who would be on it? CO— connects you with thought leaders from across the business spectrum and asks them to help solve your biggest business challenges. In this edition, we ask an expert about how leaders can bring passion into the workplace.

In this edition of “Ask the Board,” we’re pleased to meet Mike Davis, CEO of Mathnasium, North America’s leading math-only supplemental education franchise with more than 1,100 learning centers across 10 countries. Mike shares his tips on how business owners, managers, and other leaders can ignite passion in the workplace.

At the end of the day, passion is what drives people to succeed. It’s what pushes them to go the extra mile for their business or organization. In many cases, leaders can make a huge difference in the passion that exists in a workplace. Here’s how:

Encourage a sense of purpose

Employees thrive when they grasp how their efforts align with the organization's mission and vision. It's essential for leaders to bridge this connection by communicating the company's purpose, values, and long-term objectives, thereby igniting a sense of passion, purpose and significance in their work.

Align everyone with a broader vision

Transparency regarding the company's objectives and sharing pertinent information helps integrate employees into the broader vision. The goal is to make them feel integral to achieving company goals, motivating them to perform optimally. Clarity on the necessary steps toward objectives minimizes unnecessary energy expenditure on unrelated tasks.

Remember that passion is contagious.

Mike Davis, CEO of Mathnasium

Empower through autonomy

Offering employees autonomy and entrusting them with decision-making responsibilities cultivates a sense of ownership and accountability. Leaders should delegate tasks, offer guidance, and have faith in their team's capabilities to achieve outcomes autonomously. This empowerment fosters motivation and passion, and drives employees to excel in their respective roles.

Nurture a supportive and collaborative environment

The culture of a workplace significantly influences employee motivation. When employees feel supported and valued, they’re more inclined to perform their best. Leaders play a crucial role in fostering strong interpersonal bonds among team members by promoting open communication, encouraging collaboration, and swiftly addressing conflicts.

Prioritize feedback and continuous improvement

Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement by soliciting feedback from employees and implementing their suggestions for positive change. Show that you value their input and are committed to creating a better workplace for everyone. Additionally, provide opportunities for employees to grow and develop their skills by offering training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities that align with their interests and career goals.

Lead by example

Remember that passion is contagious. Demonstrate your own passion for the work you do and the goals of the organization. As a leader, you should know that your enthusiasm will inspire others to feel the same way.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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