“‘She was just was waaaaaay too passionate. I don’t think we should hire her.”
This is what my program director told me yesterday, as I was checking in on some of the new candidates we’ve been interviewing for a new team member here at Dreamshine.
“Okay, I trust you”, I replied. And then, flashing a smile, I said, “great call!”
I know what you are thinking. What are you talking about, Mark, passion is a good thing!
Yes, passion is a good thing. As a matter a fact, it’s imperative for any great culture.
But waaaay too much passion before you know someone, is a major red flag!
Over the past 10 years of building my company, Dreamshine, from the ground up, going from 1 team member to 20, I’ve learned a lot about, well, weeding out the turkeys, as my good man Dave Ramsey says, or better yet, not hiring the crazies!
I’ve learned this because I used to be in a rush to hire team members. If they seemed to be super-passionate about what we do, then I’d say awesome, lets do this!
Then I discovered, and it happened about six different times till we finally caught on, that when an interviewee shows waaay too much passion, in most cases, leads to this:
Overly-Passionate is wishy-washy. Which, over time, transforms into passive aggressive.
Passive aggressive sucks! Not only is it horrible, it literally will disrupt your entire culture and company if you don’t get rid of it!
Or better yet, don’t allow it on your team. Beware of the red flag. Trust me!
Let me break it down a little better for you of one of my real experiences with this.
About 5 years ago, we hired a new team member for a very important HR/Executive assistant position we had just created, which was key to our next level of growth.
We did a series of interviews for this position. And, as everything else seemed solid, what we really loved was her over-the-top passion for everything we do here at Dreamshine.
So we hired her.
The first 2 months were amazing and we continued to have her take over and implementing some great new systems. Things were great.
That very same week she told me, as well as other team members, she was so grateful to have me as the most caring CEO/Owner she’s ever worked for in her life (and she had 20+ years of experience, so I was very honored.)
Then, just 24 hours later, she made a full blown transformation into Mrs Passive Aggressive Face!
We had a very minor issue which she needed coaching on, as we are all learning, including me, as a life long journey. We met about it. I talked about how awesome she is doing, listing many examples, and then discussing the one area that needs to be done differently.
I made sure to explain the why behind it, enthusiastically saying how awesome it will be to see her go to a even greater level of awesomeness, explaining how this all ties into our vision and mission.
Right at this moment, I literally watched her transform right before my very eyes.
For real! Her smile tightened with such force, as if it were holding back a dam of anger that had been built up for years and years and was ready to burst.
The tension was so horrible, I asked if this all made sense. If she was okay, making sure there was no miscommunication.
Still forcing the horrifically, bitter smile (I cannot even call this expression a smile as it was so forced, her lips were even turning turning purple!)
“No. I understand. Anything Else!?,” she replied in a trying-way-to-hard-to-be-passionate voice tone, only sounding even creepier.
“Yes, leave my office, get your belongings, get off our property, and never come back you psychopath!!!!,” (this is what I was thinking and wanted to really say.)
But I managed to say this instead, “No, that covers it and thank you.”
After she robotically left my office, I sat there thinking was this for real. I made a mental note of this and continued onward, hoping for the best.
Deep down in my gut, I knew this was no good.
The very next day, she showed up right on time, and had text me to please meet her outside. She robotically walked over to me, handed me the company keys, a letter, got in her car, and left.
Where did all the passion go!!??
This, not only affected me, but our entire company, and the clients with special needs we serve, as she had left us at the peak of her transitioning all of our documentation into the new system which we had hired her to create.
We had to put 100’s and 100’s of hours in to even begin to locate the documents, which had a ripple effect on every area of my company, making us way worse off than we were before we had hired her to help us get organized!
All we needed was a simple 5 minute phone call with her, or a brief email, so she could let us know even where to begin.
In her letter, however, it said, do not make any attempt to call her or contact through email or any other means.
Our whole team was shocked! In a perplexed voice they said:
“Mark, what happened!?
Where did all the passion go!?”
“She was the most enthusiastic person we’d seen, and was so gung ho for everything about Dreamshine.”
Where did all the passion go!!??
“I literally have no idea. I’m even more perplexed than you are,” I responded.
A few days later I got another letter in the mail from Unemployment as she had tried to file a claim against us-against me for “forcing her to quit due to…” thats all i remember as my eyes became blurry with rage.
Not only did she put the ox in the ditch, she kicked us while while we were trying to dig it out!
You better believe it I fought the unemployment case, and as her real side came out, we all saw the monster unleashed. The overly exaggerated passion mask was off, and the beast was exposed!
Needless to say, after seeing this, and with our supporting documentation, they immediately dismissed her unemployment claim, and, thank God, we’ve never seen or heard from her since.
I’d honestly call the cops and have this psychopath removed immediately if she ever tried to set foot on our property.
So a few months later, when someone came in for a job interview, showing waaaaay too much passion, we did multiple interviews, and exposed the real monster before ever allowing it to be part of our team.
Each time crazy gets into the building, we create more barriers to keep them away. Nothing is guaranteed, but we make it harder and harder for Mr or Mrs Passive Aggressive Face, or any other type of destructive behaviors to join our team.
So this is why I smiled when my program director reported to me:
”She was just waaaaaaay too passionate. I don’t think we should hire her.”
Where much is given, much is required. As leaders, we must do everything we can to protect our troops. To protect our baby.
Which is why, I NEVER Hire People with Waaaaay Too Much Passion!
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