Remember that “passion” is a state of mind. When you are passionate about your job, you not only love doing it, but it is interesting to you too. (File pix)

I AM back in the sultry climes of Malaysia after a couple weeks away.

While I was away, one of the things I missed most were my pets. Or as my wife, the eccentric holistic veterinarian calls them, our “furkids”.

Some may eschew the idea of having to live with ten cats, two dogs, and the occasional squirrel or two. Not me! I love the irrepressible affection I get from them.

However, being away from home regularly for work, can be tough for our animals.

For the longest time, we had a sturdy and dependable “home-manager”, Celeste Bernado. We trusted her with our home, pets, and pretty much everything else in our lives. After being with us for more than 10 years, she is currently away on a well-deserved extended break in the Philippines, with her family.

Therefore, this time round we had to depend on other avenues for our pet-care needs. Our cats are pretty self-sufficient and require no more than timely meals, clean litter-boxes and the occasional human to either show disdain or fondness.

Our dogs on the other hand need exercise, discipline and affection.

We are fortunate that through my wife’s work as a holistic veterinarian, she gets to connect with various animal welfare groups and societies. Her practice offers free consultations and treatments for rescue organisations. Through this link, she has worked with the KL Pooch Resort and Rescue organisation.

So, this time round, we left our two dogs, Penny and Fringe, in the care of the KL Pooch Resort in Cheras.

And I must say that it was arguably the best decision we have ever made as responsible pet-owners.

Established in 2011, the KL Pooch Resort has made the highest standard of care available to victims of abuse, abandonment and injury. They say that their aim is to be a self-sustainable animal welfare organisation that is primarily funded by revenue from boarding and other services. And, I have no hesitation in applauding this noble endeavour.

Shannon Lam and Maury Browning who are the principals of this organisation do a sterling job in managing and running the resort as humanely as possible, with deep commitment to the welfare, health and safety of the animals in their care.

The sheer dedication of these two amazing ladies, and their team is a sight to behold. They are passionate, dedicated and focused. And frankly, I am in awe of their steadfastness.

My interactions with Lam and Browning made me reflect on the traits of people who are passionate about the work that they do, as opposed to those who merely exist on a functional plateau.

I revisited my leadership coaching notes and thought about the people I have coached who exhibited tremendous energy at work. I realise that they had many common qualities with Lam and Browning.

People who are impassioned about their work exceed the expectations of the standards set by their organisation. When the need arises, they willingly come in early or stay late or even take work home. They are not workaholics. Rather, they recognise that sometimes it takes an extra effort to get something done properly, and in a timely manner.

Do you complain when you need to do extra work?

Passionate employees respect their company’s time. They have no inclination for unnecessary small talk or multiple tea breaks. They look ahead to be sure they are prepared for impending tasks, and happenings. They anticipate problems, and generate suitable alternative plans.

Are you conscientious at work?

Committed workers are genuinely interested in their company’s success. They do everything it takes to promote the organisation’s mission and goals. They care deeply about performance and growth.

And consequently are vested in improving their skills in ways that will best enhance their work-product. They do not let any personal problems interfere with their professionalism.

Do you drag your feet when you have a bad day, or when your company sends you for training?

People who are genuinely passionate at work, care about the people they work with, and the customers they serve. They help co-workers without any fuss. They focus on being encouraging, and creating an empowering working environment. And, they steer clear of nasty office gossip. Instead, they concentrate their energies on finding workable solutions rather than brooding over issues.

Are you authentic in your relationships with others?

Answer my questions honestly and discover if you are actually passionate about your work.

Remember that “passion” is a state of mind. When you are passionate about your job, you not only love doing it, but it is interesting to you too.

Doing work that you are energetic about is one of the most pleasing experiences in life.

When you are emotionally engaged with your job, no matter how challenging it is, you will deliver satisfaction to yourself.

That is, after all, the holy grail for all of us. And, as cheesy as it may sound, we are all in pursuit of happiness.

So, be like Lam and Browning at the KL Pooch Resort, and be passionate about what you do.

SHANKAR R. SANTHIRAM is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”

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