Frustration or Inspiration
Leaders are leaders because they believe the present needs improvement. They’re fanatics when it comes to their cause, political position, product, or objective.
It’s frustrating when others don’t share your passion. Employees aren’t jazzed about cutting waste, sons and daughters blow off supporting family, and neighbors change the topic of conversation. When this happens, you feel alone, angry, misunderstood and under-appreciated. Life feels like you’re pushing a rope.
Arguing, debating, and pressuring seldom succeeds like inspiration. Inspiring others answers this frustration.
Leaders reach higher by inspiring a shared vision.
People who inspire others stop focusing on what they want and start focusing on what others want. Leaders talk to them about them. Promotions and terminations are not so subtle ways to refocus on them.
Here’s a strategy. Inspire a shared vision by explaining your passion in their language and from their perspective. Refocus the conversation from “you to them.”
Leaders reach higher by talking to them about them.
You can read more about inspiring a shared vision in The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner.
I enjoyed this article alot. I especially like your framing of this around the importance of vision- without it work is drudgery- I think that’s a Walt Disney quote. Nice work.
Thanks for the good word. Over the past couple years vision has changed my life.
I fully agree with you Dan.
Unfortunately, the world has seen the narrow kind of leadership and followership that focus on the short term bottomline numbers that’s self serving. Tangible rewards in the form of money has become the biggest and strongest carrot (inspiration) in business and corporations. How else could we have got that greedy, gullible and ignorant.
I hope Daniel Pink’s can breakthrough the human barrier in correcting the fundamentals in motivation. And, it will take the joint effort of both – leaders recognise what inspires and employees “protest” the carrot inducement.
Thanks for jumping into the conversation. In particular thanks for bringing up Pink. The book “Drive” is helpful in this conversation. As you know, Pink says, “Humans have a drive — to direct our own lives, to get better at stuff, to make a contribution. Those three drives or inspirations continue to be the drives that bring me the greatest fulfillment.
“Fanatic: a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal. Fanatic and zealot both suggest excessive or overweening devotion to a cause or belief. Fanatic further implies unbalanced or obsessive behavior” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fanatic
Passion isn’t necessarily good, either. “Passion is up there with innovation in what people think entrepreneurs need in order to succeed. I doubt it. My experience as entrepreneur, entrepreneur educator, and venture capitalist tells me that the more scarce and valuable commodity is cold-shower-self-honesty.” http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/frustration-or-inspiration/
Oops, I pasted the wrong link in my comment above. The link I meant to post is to commentary from Daniel Isenberg, professor of management practice at Babson College, http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/01/the_danger_of_entrepreneurial.html?cm_mmc=hbs-_-syndication-_-HBSExecEd-_-2010
I wasn’t sure why you pasted the link to my blog in your comment. It makes more sense now.
Thanks for the link to Isenberg’s comments they are great contribution to the discussion about passion.