Are you inspired or are you bored? What makes the difference?

I remember when my kids were growing up around their nut of a Father and I remember saying, “It doesn’t matter if you end up passionate about the things I am…just make sure you are passionate about your own things!” A life without passion seems like a path to being bored. Sadly, it can also generate the potential to be boring, and it’s hard to get ahead that way.

A great client of mine, Panda Restaurant Group, puts a ton of importance on curiosity and lifelong learning as critical characteristics for people on their team – it makes for quite an inspired environment. I believe a fascination for new ideas and insights aligns perfectly with an individual’s propensity to be passionate (and even fanatical) about their interests. The concept of “can’t get enough” is what comes to mind for me. There are examples galore, but here are just a few from my own life:

  • My buddy who has read every one of the Pulitzer Prize winning novels…
  • Another friend who has painstakingly catalogued 40 years of amateur music “jam” recordings he has made with his best friends and co-creators…
  • The dedicated non-profit youth theater Producer (and youth developer extraordinaire) who travels to New York to see her former prodigy student starring in Wicked on Broadway…
  • A special 35+ year friend and Fraternity Brother who loved baseball so much that he served on the National Board of Directors for the Society of American Baseball Research…
  • A true inspiration, Tony Everett, who was so passionate about helping kids that he started his own non-profit (Pure Game) to teach character to kids in need using the game of Soccer…
  • My history-teacher daughter who fuels her passion for teaching by travelling the world whenever she can – she had been in 30 countries by the time she was 26…

Some really important, some just an expression of true passion…but all unquestionably “not boring”.

I’d love to hear other examples you can share – send me an email with examples of your own – I’ll compile then and share them in a future communication.

Of course, our passions really matter to us as individuals. Sometimes, they can also make valuable contributions to our community through our volunteer efforts in non-profit and charitable causes. It’s easy to write a check to a cause, but spending time and sharing insights with causes can only really happen from a place of passion. I feel fortunate to be around many inspired contributors such as these – people who are professionally successful and also devote their time and energy to help others – people that I like to refer to as “Difference Makers”.

The “passion effect” of being involved is powerful, and for me, the impact is greater still because of the shared energy of being around others who also care about making a difference. Try it if you don’t know what I mean.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.



A Purposeful Relationship Building Event: The next DifferenceMakersOC ( event is scheduled for the morning of September 30th focused on support for Health Services for people in need in Orange County. The event will benefit The Lestonnac Free Clinic and will be held at the Taco Bell Headquarters in Irvine. These events bring together a wide variety of professionals from corporate and non-profit organizations and great relationships are formed – DifferenceMakersOC strives to create significant and synergistic relationships among professionals who seek a balance between business success and ‘making a difference’ through participating in not-for-profit and charitable causes. We hope you can join us – let me know if I can answer any questions. For more information or to register please click here: Get Information or Register Here


The Pure Game ( Tony Everett – Founder and Chief Playmaker
Stagelight Family Productions ( Janice Kraus – Founder and Producer/Director


Jeff Black
Partner, McDermott & Bull Executive Search

Mobile: (714) 356-1949 Office: (949) 529-2672
2 Venture, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618

Video on Talent FIT (2 min.) | Jeff’s Blog | McDermott & Bull | |

I believe creating relationships that truly fit makes a big difference in the world