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Passion as a Predictor of Success

A business friend asked me today to comment on the idea that passion (for one’s business or vocation) could be the number one predictor of success. I disagreed. I have seen dozens of entrepreneurs present their businesses to investor groups ( I belong to TCA in OC). The investors get excited when the entrepreneurs are enthusiastic and demonstrate passion about their companies, products, potential, etc. There is a hitch though. Many of the most enthusiastic entrepreneurs, the ones that appear most passionate, have a couple of personality issues. In fact, I’d say that I’ve met many who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

There was a book written in the early nineties, (still available through Amazon), called The Productive Narcissist, which describes how these not-so-together people are incredibly charismatic, draw people to them, and often (but not always), succeed wildly, despite the negative traits that impact their relationships with others. See who the author gives as examples! So, my conclusion in this thesis about passion is that you must dig a little deeper to determine who the person really is, before you can judge a superficial pattern of passion as the best predictor of success.