The Anatomy of Inspiration

Evaluate leaders on their ability to inspire. If I surveyed your team, would they say you inspire them?

Any fool can suck the life out of people.

Successful leaders aspire to inspire.

don't you think leadership is about inspiration.png

*Bob Chapman, co-author of, “Everybody Matters,” asked me, “Dan, don’t you think leadership is about inspiration?

Demotivational leaders:

  1. Walk around with frowns.
  2. Neglect purpose while emphasizing results.
  3. Express doubt and distrust.
  4. Talk more than listen.
  5. Criticize more than affirm. Demotivational leaders fear celebration.
  6. Cling to power and authority.
  7. Treat people like tools. Demotivational leaders use people.
  8. Show disrespect. 78% of people who experience disrespect at work are less committed to their organization.
  9. Use isolation to enhance status.
  10. Believe everything centers on them.

It’s easy to drain energy; successful leaders ignite and fuel it.

The anatomy of inspiration:

Bob Chapman inspired me.

Bob’s jubilant enthusiasm for Truly Human Leadership made me feel like I’d been to church.  When I told him I was waiting for the offering plate, he basically said that I was the offering.

I notice four components to inspiration.

#1. Passion is contagious. Find your mission! Even the Blues Brothers were on a mission from God. 

I told Bob, during our conversation, that he needed to calm down. He blurted an expletive and said, Don’t tell me to slow down. I’m too old to slow down.

#2. See greatness in others. You can’t impose inspiration. It comes from within.

It’s impossible to find inspiration in our weaknesses. Say, “You’re great at …,” if you want to inspire.

#3. Focus people’s strengths on meaningful vision. Ask questions that challenge people to use their greatness to make a difference. “What are you going to do about that?”

Don’t tell, ask.

#4. Talk about the importance of the vision with others in mind.

Choose inspiration over motivation.

Listen to Bob inspire me (3:45):

What do leaders do to demotivate? Inspire?

How might you step toward being an inspirational leader today? 

*Bob is Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a combination of nearly 70 acquired companies valued at approximately $2 billion with 9,000 employees.

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Twitter: @barrywehmiller