Management Tip: Don’t Do What You Love

Today’s management tip from Harvard Business Review turns conventional wisdom on its ear. Adopted from Dorie Clark, HBR boldly states: “Don’t Do What You Love” for the following reasons:


  1. It’s not your strength. You may love to do something you are just not good at. Because it can be hard to self-assess, ask for frank feedback from those around you to know where your strengths are.
  2. You’re too emotionally attached. Passion may cloud your judgment. When you care deeply about something, it can be hard to be take criticism or let others get involved.
  3. It’s a hobby, not a job. Sadly, you can’t be paid for everything. What you love may not be lucrative. Instead find something you like that pays.


Clark goes on to document her rationale more fully in an extended HBR newsletter, but it certainly runs contrary to the traditional “do what you love” mantra that has been championed for so many years. 

For me, I think the middle ground is the ideal spot. By “loving what you do”, you can apply your passions and strengths towards fulfilling goals — both personally and professionally — without being hampered by the very real concerns Clark raises. 

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