Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to go over to my neighbor’s house for a July 4th party. It was a great time that included good friends, a beach, and lots of food. One of my neighbors has the esteemed nickname “Prince of Pork” for his ability to take raw meat and turn it into a delicacy. The entree that I enjoy the most is his pulled pork.

After my third or fourth plate of this succulent meat extravaganza, I recognized that there were other items that looked good, and I had not tried any of them. It was at this point that one of the friendly neighbors tried to convince me to eat more. The only problem, I was stuffed full of pork. It did not matter how great the food looked, how great it tasted, or even how great it smelled; I just did not have the appetite to eat another bite.

I am not sure if you have ever been in a situation where you just had no desire to eat another bite, but when you reach that point there is nothing that anyone can do to persuade you to eat. You just do not have any desire for food.

This made me think about appetite or desire. Leaders must have an appetite to lead. Without this appetite, you will never be comfortable or successful in the role of a leader. Leaders that do not have a desire to lead will have problems with the basics of leadership. It will be easily recognized by your team members, and it will be impossible to retain them. They will become frustrated because they can’t accomplish anything because you will be holding them back.

The question is, how do you get desire? How does a person become passionate about something when they have lost the fire?

I have found three things that help when I find that I have lost that passion. I thought I would share them with you.

First, I get involved. I have found that because of my position I sometimes get too far away from the fire. The best way to get the flame again is to get closer to the team and the work. This reignites the flame for me.

Next, I try to loosen up a little. It is when I get uptight that I become more of a dictator, and more task driven. I sometimes need to stop and evaluate they why of my position. This helps me to get back to the reason that I do what I do.

Lastly, think about what makes you hungry. After all, at some point you had a desire for leadership, so what made you hungry in the first place? What is the pulled pork of your cookout? What made you want the position in the first place?

This week’s experiment is all based on desire and appetite. Evaluate if you are hungry? Have you lost your desire to lead? What are the steps necessary to regain that passion?