The Pros and Cons of Passion

My experience at the Foundation over the last 2+ years has been an adventurous one. As is often the case with new cultures, new personalities and a different focus, I’ve learned so much. I’ve realized that my (communications) powers can be used for true “good” and not just to sell more widgets. This role has in fact been a healthy melding of my strong work ethic with a newfound level of personal satisfaction.

That is not to say, that this has been the healthiest move for me. While I have been more driven than ever, for example, I have been…more driven than ever. That is to say, this job has reactivated some of my workaholic tendencies. This has in turn distracted me from the bigger-than-ever challenge here in Toronto of finding a way to build a personal life. So perfect is the rationale that I’m spending my weekends or evenings working “for a good cause.”

It is work done for a good reason. Work that has a real world impact on the lives of (literally) millions of people. But with this passion comes drive; and with drive can sometimes come frustration. You might think I’m referring to my personal frustration but I’m actually referring to those around me. For so driven am I to advance our mission, and so “without a personal life” that I must sometimes drag innocent bystanders along with me. Even though I am one of the biggest advocates for work/life balance (at least for others).

This passion drives me to think bigger than ever and that’s so exciting. Rather than promoting the specific projects we’re supporting, I want to “recast the image of Africa.” And we could do it. But I respect that others might not think about the potential of communications the same way I do.

And so my passion often redirects. While keeping things ticking along in Comms, I always welcome the opportunity to contribute to other parts of the organization. For example, leveraging my tech sector experience and acting as the executive sponsor for the community platform we’re developing for Scholars. Or helping to update our HR policies and benefits. And in this, I learn what it means to be a leader.


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