The online etymology dictionary says that “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek enthousiasmos, or “divine inspiration”. Just as “encourage” has the meaning of “to put courage into”, so “enthusiasm” has the connotation of “to put God into”. Enthusiasm in certainly infectious, as anyone who has been around another person caught up in something he or she happens to be enthusiastic about at any particular time will attest to. Although people smile at manifestations of enthusiasm, some of it can actually be annoying, as when you don’t agree with what the person happens to be enthused about, for instance. I suspect that happens when someone who is “enthusiastic” over some idea or notion or situation or prospect doesn’t “have God in it”. Or, in other words, the enthusiasm is over something that isn’t true, right and just. It may not be beneficial for people in the general sense of the word. Have you encountered that? Leaders who are trying to be practically effective often encourage enthusiasm even if they don’t particularly like what the person might be enthused about. This is because enthusiasm is so rare at the workplace. There is, however, a type of enthusiasm that needs to be cultivated by each one of us on a daily basis.
That enthusiasm might not be exuberantly displayed. It might just be that quiet joy that is chosen even when circumstances say that there is nothing to be joyful about. It is a quiet determination to maintain an attitude of gratitude no matter what. It is that spirit that will determine whether your company lasts and prospers or whether it sinks. It is nurtured and fought for on a daily, even hourly, basis. Perhaps that is why so many business models postulate selling your startup when it peaks. Because that quiet enthusiasm is so hard to maintain. If you are a practical and effective leader, this is what you look for and this is what you nurture. Have a satisfying day farming!