A Passion for the Profession

By Lisellotte Ortega February 11, 2016

​Confucius famously advised, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Human beings are able to feel a vast range of emotions, but we commonly experience just a handful—happiness, anger, stress, peacefulness, anxiety, confidence and love, among a few others.

In our profession, we hear about one emotion very often: passion. We say that in an organization, passion is what drives people’s ambition and inspires them in whatever they do. Passion, we tell each other, is a key component for success.

Is it really true? WorldLink asked several undeniably successful people—former presidents of the Interamerican Federation of People Management Associations (FIDAGH)—about their own feelings and emotions regarding the people management profession. Here’s what they told us:

“We [as human resource professionals] feel an unconditional commitment and the will to add and multiply. On the bridges we have built, our name is not engraved in stone. It doesn’t really matter; we can live in anonymity, with the mere satisfaction of knowing that we have contributed for others to achieve and go further.” 
—Horacio Quiros, 2007-2009 FIDAGH President

“We made a career choice—to believe in people and their potential. We believe in contributing so that they can develop their potential and performance as well as their careers, and thereby change businesses and even nations. People and their differences constantly dare us to understand their ways of thinking, feeling and acting, which is a daily challenge we leaders must be prepared for. We will succeed as long as we believe in our divine mission—to support the development of those who really want to develop.”
—Cassio Mattos, 2003-2005 FIDAGH President

“I feel inexplicably entwined with this discipline, almost like in a ministry. I am especially exhilarated when I am able to see how strategic actions are transforming customer satisfaction in organizations I work for. With their leadership, human resource managers who are aware of their role can promote cultural change, make processes move, elicit appropriate behaviors, guide growth toward competitiveness, discover best practices and be the best allies senior management can have to achieve their goals.” 
—Eladio Uribe, 2001-2003 FIDAGH President

“The rationale driving the human talent leader is characterized by achieving a number of objectives with diverse priorities while strictly adhering to ethical principles that should always guide human actions. As professionals, we have to do three jobs: meet the objectives of the organizations we work for; train and develop people in ways that improve their working and personal lives; and contribute to the formation of future leaders. It is not enough to be a leader—we must cultivate leaders where we find them. Meeting our goals is strongly correlated to the effort, passion and conviction we put into what we do. And therefore, we must do what we love. This benefits institutions, society and the advancement of good governance.” 
—Carlos Aldao Zapiola, 1993-1995 FIDAGH President 

​Lisellotte Ortega is Past President of the National Association of Human Resources Professionals of Panama and current FIDAGH Permanent Executive Secretary. Republished by permission from the World Federation of People Management Associations.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs


Find your peers in SHRM's online community.

Find your peers in SHRM's online community.

Join SHRM Connect


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect

HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.