Thankfully, You Don’t Need to Pressure People

The nature of leadership is taking people to places they haven’t been. Thankfully, you don’t need to pressure people in order to challenge them to reach higher.

Anticipate disengagement, once you begin pressuring people.

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Ineffective leaders pressure people for more.

Real leaders inspire people to become more

Inspired people challenge themselves.

Three prerequisites for inspiration:

  1. Believe in people. Don’t let faults and frailties be the reason you stop believing. You just haven’t unleashed their genius yet.
  2. Engage them in defining “better.” Stop convincing people you’re right. Define “better,” together. Inspiration is belief that things can be better. 
  3. Ask challenging questions. Curiosity inspires. 

Three questions that spark inspiration:

Once you define “better,” ask questions. Don’t bark orders.

#1. With your goal in mind, what do you need to let go?

  1. Find energy by eliminating trivialities.
  2. Repeating behaviors that don’t work discourages.
  3. Letting go feels like freedom – freedom fuels inspiration.

#2. If you continue doing the same things, where will you be in six months? (One year, Five years?)

  1. Inspiration requires reflection. Provide space for busy people to evaluate the outcomes of their behaviors.
  2. “Where will you be in six months,” invites people to think about where they’re going. It’s difficult to feel inspired when destinations are murky.
  3. “If you continue doing the same things,” is opportunity to reflect on effectiveness and efficiency.

#3. What value will you bring if you succeed?

  1. Inspiration requires purpose.
  2. Purpose ignites energy.
  3. Energy fuels movement.


The power of challenging questions begins with the leader’s heart.

You must believe in the mission and the people, in order to spark inspiration.

Manipulative questions result in resistance, not inspiration.

Helping people craft their path forward expresses alignment with their passions, belief in their abilities, and expectation for their success.

What must be in place for leaders to ignite and fuel inspiration in others?

What questions help people find their inspiration?

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