Passionate Leaders Seize the Moment:
Passionate leaders see an opening, exploit a break, and take a chance when others don’t even recognize the prospect.
If we look back on our own professional paths, we may be able to identify those leaders that inspired us to work harder, contribute more, and strive for greatness. Achieving success is certainly predicated on hard work and sound direction, but it is also a result of fearlessly seizing opportunities. Passionate leaders have such confidence in their ability that they are not afraid of making a mistake. Rather, they see a mistake as an altogether new opportunity. Passionate leaders embrace the unknown with creatively analytical solutions borne from childlike curiosity. This childlike quality may be one of the most significant character traits that passionate leaders share.
Jenny Ming, past president of Old Navy and GAP Inc., credits one of her greatest design ideas to seeing the world through the eyes of her child. She was dropping off her young daughter at school on the notorious “pajama” day, when all students were allowed to come to school in PJ’s. Nearly all the kids were wearing their dad’s pin-striped pajama pants matched with a top from their own wardrobe. Jenny capitalized on that idea by breaking up what had always been a traditional fashion tandem – pajama bottom sold with pajama top. Old Navy began selling all sorts of pajama bottoms as a separate with plenty of tank tops of all colors available for customers to create their own mix and match style. This revolutionary and radical approach to selling a traditional fashion item increased sales and demonstrated how a childlike vision can reap huge benefits. Jenny Ming passionately embraced her daughter’s point of view and crafted a marketing campaign that was the envy of her competitors.