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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

The difference between WANT and DESIRE





My dear friend Dorice recently posted a video looking at the difference between “want” and “desire”. It was very thought-provoking and I wanted to share it with you.


Want” is a simple hope or wish for something. For me, this word conjures up feelings of emptiness or scarcity. We “want” because we don’t have. We indiscriminately throw this word around and rarely does it imply true necessity.


On the other hand, the word “desire” is seated deeply in longing for something with an underlying passion and soul connection. I imagine our body language, tone, and inflection is different when we say these two words.


With “desire” my knees bend, my hands reach out, my eyes light up, and I smile a bit.

In the Hebrew language, Dorice explains that the word “desire” is broken down to mean: “the deep want to feel the movement and nourishment of your soul.” WOW!


So how does this relate to leadership? All of us are drawn to what serves us. We all have deep-rooted desires, that if acknowledged, will naturally create passion, drive, and focus.


Aren't those the qualities were are looking for in our team or colleagues?


Can you find creative ways to capitalize on these inherent desires? You are not taking advantage of them, you are creating a space and aligning the characteristics or actions which will naturally drive success. You both win.


So, how do you do this?


What if you stopped pushing employees to achieve more but rather stopped to ask your team and yourself, what they desire. It is this question that unlocks to door to creative success.

When we are working in a space that feeds our desires we self-manage, we are naturally proactive, energized, and goal-focused.


In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about putting the “right people in the right seats”, maybe that is also about knowing people's desires, and then aligning their job and responsibilities with those desires. If this is done, the bus will drive itself.

Very often we connect employees or ourselves with the job description, what if we created the job description around the person’s desires and natural skills? Capitalizing on what drives their energy, enthusiasm, and natural talents.


You may think, “I can’t just give everyone free reign of their jobs, nothing would get done.” I challenge you on that. Yes, it would look different but you may be surprised by how many people are limited by their job title, stifled to conform and “tow the line” and simultaneously neglecting the hidden talents and desires that lay just beneath the surface. Is it not our job as leaders to tap into creative desires? To become curious as to how much we don’t know and how much others have to offer?


Is it possible to gray the edges of job descriptions in an effort to incorporate people’s natural talents?


My Challenge to You:

  • At your next 1:1 or team, meeting ask: “If you could be more involved in any aspect of this company, what would you be doing?” This is such a fun exercise to learn about each other’s hidden talents and to develop deeper connections and trust. Then see if you can open some doors and make it happen… can you say “retention”?!

  • Ask and then delegate. Many times we don’t delegate tasks because we don’t want to burden another with the dreaded job. Here is the fun part, what is dreaded by you might be inspiring for another. (I hate to plan vacations but I have many friends who would drop everything to plan a fabulous trip.) Ask and you might just receive!

  • Challenge yourself to learn one new desire or talent of your colleague. It may just change your perception, dynamic, or even make work easier!

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