Sync logo

Sync: e-bulletin December 2010



In a Christian context, the Passion is the technical term for the suffering and agony of Jesus that led directly to the Crucifixion, the central Christian event... All the other meanings of "passion" have been derived from this one. (

a red graphic art piece exploring passion

Within Sync we often talk about 'following your passion' and acknowledge that passion is part of leadership. It's interesting then to think that the word passion has its routes in suffering - in particular, endurance of suffering.

Certainly with the cold and the cuts - many of us could say we are suffering for our passion at the moment.

Drilling down

Finding our passion is a fundamental aspect to being able to enjoy a happier and healthier life. Although many people seem to just know what they are passionate about, the majority of people actually struggle to know what it is they truly enjoy...

a drill drilling into the earth

But what if we haven't found our passion yet? What if we know the kinds of things we like? What if we only know what we don't like doing?

Well, if you haven't found it and you've been looking for it - maybe you've been looking too hard.

Don't ‘stop’ doing other things until you find it. If you continue on your journey, at some point, your passion will come to you. Sometimes we can only find things when we stop looking. So work on the things you enjoy, even if it's multiple things and you may suddenly 'click' and find things drop into place for you...

Core passions can be quite general - maybe you get a buzz out of helping people, maybe it's through expressing yourself, maybe your passion is about providing a safe and secure environment for others.

Over time, these may change slightly but it's likely that the focus will remain e.g. if your core passion is to help others then you may find different ways to do that at different times in your life - sometimes more hands on, sometimes more strategic.

Drill down into your passions - push them and pummel them. Examine them under a microscope, get to know what they look like from all angles. Find the edges of your passions - where do they stop and start?

Still searching to find your passion?

Fundamental purpose

Nobody likes cuts. But is it too outlandish to see an upside to financial uncertainty? Perhaps not...

a copy of arts professional

So begins Martin Vogel's article in Arts Professional. He argues that times of financial austerity should encourage arts organisations to re-evaluate how they approach and present work.

For us, this links directly to passion too. During times like these it is important to align passion and purpose. This is what Martin says:

Organisations that navigate the storms ahead may gain more autonomy to set their own destiny. A possible outcome could be that they reconnect with their fundamental purpose and refresh how they deliver value to audiences. In austerity, our energies concentrate simply on survival, and the niceties of maintaining and delivering a vision recede to the sidelines. But it can be a mistake to treat the values that inform an organisation as too costly a luxury to merit attention at a time like this. Clarity about what an organisation exists to achieve is central to making good decisions in the face of challenge.

So whether you work for yourself or you work for an organisation, why not use this festive break to think really hard about the passion and purpose of your working life.

If you have to strip things right back, pare things down to their essential core, what would be right at the heart of what you do?

Simon tips over...

Simply I think people who don’t share my views and passion are missing out - big style. For many people nowadays there can be a perceived lack of opportunity in meeting and perhaps working with people with disabilities. I just ask people to be open, and try to steer to a path to true inclusion, chaos and fun, my definition of the social model of disability!

a series of images from motion disabled

Simon McKeown is well know for following his passion and his personal 'tipping point' may have come on Friday 3rd December 2010, internationally known as Day of Persons with Disabilities. On that day 17 countries, including England and Scotland, screened McKeown’s Motion Disabled to raise awareness about disability rights and McKeown himself was named DaDaFest Artist of the Year 2010.

The global screenings were co-ordinated through both VSA, The International Organization on Arts and Disability based in Washington DC and DaDafest and included the lead screening in Liverpool’s historic dock area and showings in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Albany (Australia), Kolkata (India), Prishtina (Kosovo), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Louga (Senegal), Mexico City (Mexico), Riga (Latvia), Los Angeles and at the UN headquarters in New York (USA).

Jo Verrent interviewed Simon back in 2009, after Jo had produced the projection of Motion Disabled in Leeds, as part of Light Night. Our article this month picks up where that one left off – and pushes Simon to describe what it feels like to have reached this tipping point…

To go straight to the article on Simon McKeown...

Take a note!

photo of the sync notebook.

One of Sync's passions is ensuring that disabled voices get heard widely - and to push this further Sync have just produced a notebook. It's perfect for your personal development notes as you continue your leadership journey. Scattered throughout, there are some thought provoking pushes, prompts and provocations to keep you thinking about the interface between leadership and disability as you go, drawn from the many voices and opinions that make up Sync.

Want one? As always there is a catch - you can't have one, you can only have two! One for you and one for someone you feel might benefit from finding out more about Sync. This could perhaps be a disabled person or person with a long term health condition interested in leadership in the cultural sector, or someone who can help us spread the word.

Just drop your address, and the address of your suggested other person, to our administrator for this work, Lesley Miller at and we can get these mailed out to you - perfect for welcoming you back to work after the festive season!

Seasons Greetings

seasons greetings written on snowflakes

And that's it from us for 2010.

No-one is quite sure what 2011 will bring, but Sync are busy dreaming and scheming away. Rest assured, whatever we do, Sync passions for curiosity, equality and diversity are at the heart of it!

Have a great break,

Jo and Sarah and the rest of the Sync Team

ADA inc logo    CUSP inc logo    People Create logo
Cultural Leadership logo

If you want to be removed from the mailing list please
email and put the word 'remove' in the subject line