L.I.S.T.E.N.—I is for Impassioned

L.I.S.T.E.N.—I is for Impassioned

If you ask those you lead how they’d like to be treated, and then intentionally listen to their answers and respectfully consider them, you will have the beginning of a transformed culture that helps people be excited and enthusiastic about their work.

Listening 2by2: A Paradigm Shift for Leaders (That’s When the Magic Happens!)

Every week, for the next six weeks, we are sharing one of Someone To Tell It To’s values, one for each letter in the acronym L. I. S. T. E. N. These are values that we do our very best to model for and share with others. We believe these values hold the power to brighten our lives and to bring hope and reassurance in healing and helpful ways.

Today’s value is the letter I: Impassioned.

We are a team who sticks together to pursue a shared vision and purpose, and who seeks to achieve greatness together.

  • We achieve greatness by believing in our mission and by sweating and working hard to fulfill it.
  • “We” is greater than “me.”
  • We focus on the positive and keep moving forward.

I went for a longer run this past weekend—8.5 miles. I try to do longer distances on the weekends when I seem to have a bit more time and the opportunity for extra sleep. I’m in the midst of training for another half marathon.

In the last mile of my run, I passed by another runner. We stopped and offered a quick word of encouragement to each other. I told him I was impressed with some of the recent times he’s been putting out on STRAVA, a communal running app of which we are both a part. He said he was (still) impressed that I completed my first full marathon last fall, knowing the discipline and inner strength it took to do so, along with the significant setbacks I faced.

We both went our separate ways, uplifted to complete our runs for the day.

Before I went to bed that night, I thought about the other runner’s comments. He knew that a few weeks prior to my 40th birthday, I was diagnosed with COVID and had to bail on a pre-scheduled marathon in Corning, New York. I trained hard all summer so it was a huge disappointment when I couldn’t run.

After a few weeks of recovery, all the stars seemed to align on October 14th, the morning of my 40th birthday. I stepped out our front door at 4:00am and next 26.2 miles were spent all by my lonesome. No cheering crowds. No rest stations. No medal. No finish line. Just the quiet sound of my breath settling in.

I was passionate about completing a marathon by my 40th birthday. Today, I’m reflecting on another one of Someone To Tell It To’s values:


What does it mean to live an impassioned life?

In his book Start with Why, best-selling author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek writes:

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.”

Here at Someone To Tell It To, we love to surround ourselves with people who motivate us, inspire us, who bring out the best in us—and in one another. Our team is full of people who know their why, who know their passion and their purpose, who get out of bed every day wanting to put their best foot forward, and then do so.

This raises another question:

Can you teach passion?

Writer Frederich Beuchner noted:

“Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

At Someone To Tell It To, we have a passion for helping the world to listen. We surround ourselves with others who find joy in addressing the epidemic of loneliness and disconnection in the world. With people who find joy in providing sustenance to the world’s emotional, relational, mental, and spiritual needs. With people who find satisfaction and fulfillment in working with others to achieve our common mission.

Passion for life and for addressing the world’s greatest needs isn’t something that can be taught. We can inspire others to keep putting their best foot forward—especially when there are setbacks—but we can’t teach passion. Passion is something that comes from within. Being impassioned is having an internal drive to always give our best to the world, to others, and to ourselves.

For us, being impassioned means we work towards achieving our mission whether or not there are cheering crowds, rest stations, medals, or finish lines. It’s running the race of life simply because of the good it can do—and to inspire others to run with us, too.

Read more about our L.I.S.T.E.N. values in this series:

L is for Listen

I is for Impassioned

S is for Service

T is for Teamwork

E is for Excellence

N is for Notice

Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash


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