Think of an inspirational person. No doubt the person you’re thinking of is someone who really stands out from the crowd. They’re different and they’re making a difference. Not only that, they’re a nice person who everyone wants to be around. They know where they’re going and what they want to achieve, and others are inspired by that. Inspirational people have followers in the true sense.
We’re all looking for inspiration. Its often portrayed as a lightbulb moment or a lightening bolt – a sudden illumination. Inspiration is the spark that ignites a fire of creativity and innovation. It’s a powerful force that moves us to act.
Suddenly everyone’s talking about inspiration. According to some gurus, motivation is no longer good enough. If you want to be a proper leader then you have to be inspirational. But wait a minute, inspiration is motivation. And being inspirational isn’t the new holy grail of management, attainable by a chosen few. Inspiration can come from anyone who’s doing something worthwhile.
Go back to the inspirational person you thought about at the start of this article. No matter how well-known they might be now, they weren’t born being inspirational. Neither was it something they set out to achieve. Nevertheless along the way they’ve achieved things that have made them worthy of the title. They earned it. If you want to find out how, read on.
Think of inspiration as a chain reaction. The thing that drives an inspirational person to act is something that inspired them. Their passion about what they’re doing is authentic because it’s based on values. People are inspired by them in turn because they hold some of the same values.
Of course in the world of work managers don’t acquire employees in the same way inspirational people gain followers. Managers need to work a bit harder by tapping into employee values and using common ground to inspire.
Not only do inspirational people really believe in what they’re trying to achieve, they know how to get that message across to others. Their communications are straight to the point and easy to understand. They’ll never rely on email where face to face communication is possible, and because of this they make their vision real to others. Above all, they are positive through and through.
If you want people to buy into your vision then clear communication about where you’re going and the steps along the way is an absolute must. Be totally conscious of how you put your message across. Pay attention to your tone and your body language as well as your use of words. Most importantly, check your message has been understood in the manner you intended.
Inspirational people aren’t interested in personal recognition. They always shift attention towards their goal and the people who helped them along the way. They don’t see themselves as better than others and they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty when required.
You will inspire by giving attention, not by receiving it. Know the people who work for you well. Question and pay attention the to answers: really listen. Free others to be innovative by giving them control and trust. And always give credit where credit’s due.
Never Give Up
Taking the bull by the horns is what inspirational people are all about. If things don’t go to plan they don’t call it failure, they call it learning. They’re open about what they think has gone wrong and why in order to help others.
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Build on your successes and learn from your failures. If things don’t go exactly according to plan, don’t be discouraged. That’s the thing about inspiration, you might just be inspiring people without even knowing it.
This post was inspired by Dov Seidman. Who or what inspires you?