The first violinist-conductor of a Johann Strauss concert literally leapt from his seat as the chamber orchestra performed the Champagne Waltz. It was if the composer himself was present–especially since this concert was occurring in the very hall where Strauss performed as a first-violinist-conductor. I was on holiday in Vienna. It made me think of the power of passion and spirit so important in performing the mentoring symphony.

Protégés are attracted to passionate mentors! Too often learners experience learning encounters as staid, bland tutoring sessions. When they get a mentor on fire with the excitement of learning, they are eager to join in the joyful adventure.

However, the very nature of passion can be unpredictable and untidy. The heart is more unruly than the head. And, “organization” can become the enemy of passion. While there must be a balance between enthusiasm and efficiency, the rational side of learning has always had the upper hand. Perhaps too many learners have restrictive memories of “school marms” or stern professors more interested in discipline and protocol than in fanning the flames of emerging wisdom.

Are logical relationships rendering your protégé apathetically automatic? If mechanical is winning over inventive and robotic is replacing zealous, then the excitement your protégé can adore and embrace is being blocked. Let your passion overflow its banks. And, unabashedly be willing to leap from your seat when participating with your protégé in the mystical and magical symphony of learning.