Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for something.
The other day I had someone ask me what my passion was. I have always been a believer in letting my actions state my beliefs and or intentions. A good person does not have to state they are a good, their actions should speak louder than words and the difference they make in someone’s life is the measure.
As I reflected on what I am passionate about, I realized passion evolves with one’s life cycle and is not mutually exclusive.
As a kid, my passion was bicycles and motorcycles or anything else I could go fast on with little concern for safety.
In high school, my passion was football and having fun with my friends. Football opened the door to attend Georgia Tech; however, staying there was another more important evolution that had to be undertaken.
In college, my passion shifted from football to academics. I realized that the rest of my life depended on doing well in college and making it through Georgia Tech with the limited funds I had saved was a tenuous pursuit. Passion gets real when you will either sleep under a bridge or a roof. My path would be determined based on focus and my ability to obtain my degree. Reinventing myself from jock to a scholar was not easy; however, I always believed I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.
After graduating College, I learned valuable lessons about respect, team work, and how the economy works. Being the best was my passion after college. No matter what I was doing, I wanted to win with a singular focus like playing football. This mentality gave me glory; however, it created unintended collateral damage. As I matured and was provided some timely advice from my mentors, I realized sometimes you have to allow everyone around you to win before you can win in a sustained manner. Winning in business requires a team focus and slowing down before the finish line to help your teammates make it across the line with you. This creates a more robust win that builds a winning foundation instead of personal glory. A team win is by far the best glory and satisfaction I have experienced.
After a successful banking career and all the lessons both good and bad, my passion turned to Southeast Mortgage of Georgia, Inc., SEM. At first it was to show the Banking Industry and consumers there was a better mortgage origination business model that could be created between a Broker and Bank. All the knowledge I acquired at Georgia Tech and the Banks helped form a stable and effective production platform that disrupts competitors today. As my teammates from the banks began to join us at SEM, my passion evolved to proving my bank teammates made a great choice. I wanted to ensure SEM was a rewarding career and would be the last place they would have to work. They deserved to enjoy the benefits of ownership and secure their families future. Our days were normally 12 hours+ and many of us worked weekends. When we started to get a Sunday off, we thought that was incredible. For 15 years this was the routine, and we had a blast creating and evolving SEM into what it is today. I even enjoyed mowing our lawn at Club Drive until the shareholders said I was embarrassing them.
For the past 5 years, my passion is still focused on accomplishing the promise to my Shareholders. The evolution of my passion was bifurcated when my life was blessed with three little heart beats that will carry the Haupt name forward. They changed the way I view the world and simply made me a better person, manager, and friend.
Technology and my talented leadership team allows me to balance my two passions today. After I accomplish my shareholder’s objectives, my full attention will be on mentoring my kids to be good humans that are kind, considerate, and have the experiences needed to understand the diversity of our civilization and prosper in it.
Embrace evolution and enjoy the ride!