4 Ways to Keep Inspiration Alive

We’ve all experienced it: the large bureaucracy where the employees seem to be just punching the clock.

Beautiful young boy blowing dandelion seeds - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ZoneCreative, Image #10467139

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ZoneCreative

A while back I had to get my drivers license renewed. This meant a trip to the Department of Safety’s Driver Service Center. While the process was quicker and more efficient than I expected, the people working the counter seemed lifeless.No smiles. No warmth. Just marking time. It was a little depressing.

However, this happens in the private sector as well. I had a similar experience at a popular chain restaurant. I’m sure it happens in non-profits and churches as well.

In fact, it happens any time people get disconnected from the their purpose.

As a leader, here are four ways you can keep inspiration alive in your organization:

  1. Connect people to the larger story. People want to know the organization they work for matters. They want to know it is making a difference in the world. For this to happen, you must connect them to the larger story.

    Why was your organization founded? Why does it exist? What would happen if it disappeared? What is really at stake? You can’t talk about this too much.

  2. Remind people why they matter. It’s one thing to understand the organization matters. It’s another thing to understand they matter—and they do. But they must be reminded and affirmed.

    They must understand how their actions contribute to the overall mission. While this might be clear to you, it is probably not clear to them. Your role as a leader is to help them “connect the dots.”

  3. Resist creating new policies. I have seen this over and over again in organizations. Someone makes a mistake. Rather than dealing with the problem—which is likely an exception or an anomaly—the leaders create a new policy.

    Over time, these policies slow an organization down, like the ropes that rendered Gulliver immovable. The better tactic is to deal with problems and people head-on and only institute a policy if the behavior happens repeatedly or spreads beyond the original situation.

  4. Set the pace for what you expect in others. This is ultimately your most important leadership tool. You cannot create an inspiring organization without being an inspiring person.

    If you want people to be positive and upbeat, you must be positive and upbeat. If you want people to be flexible and embrace change, then you must be flexible and embrace change.

    Like it or not, your people will mimic your priorities, values, and behavior. To quote Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

While there may be a tendency for your organization to become more bureaucratic and lose inspiration as it grows, it is not inevitable. However, it does take a leader who is determined to inspire himself and then inspire others.

Question: What do you do to actively inspire those who follow you?
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Michael, what I realize, with my worldview, is that I have been placed where I am.  I can make a difference in the lives of those I lead on my team.  I try to be positive and show that what we are doing actually does make a difference in the other teams we interact with and that we can affect the world for the greater good.  It’s awesome to go to work knowing that you can play a part in affecting your customer’s lives for good.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Larry I like how you explained how your belief that you are where you are, and with particular people for a reason works out in how you interact with them. So much comes back to whether or not we believe that we have a significant role in a larger story.

  • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

    I like number 3 a lot.  The tendency of any organization is to drift towards complexity over time.  A leader has to fight this drift.  Heard this from Andy Stanley.  

    To inspire our team, we have several little things we do.  Most of them contribute to celebrating wins. Here are just four of things we do.

    * We start every staff meeting with a time to celebrate personal events.  i.e. Birthdays (of the team or someone in their family), anniversaries, someone’s article getting published in a magazine, etc.  We end the meetings with celebrating organizational wins.
    * I have 32 staff and I hand write a personal note in every paycheck twice a month thanking them for a specific thing.  This forces me to carry a little notepad and jot down the little things as I see them.  We like to MWBA (manage by walking around)
    * I’ll write a personal letter to the kids of someone on my team and mail it to them telling them their mom or dad is amazing.  I’ll send a wife of a team member flowers or a husband a gift card with a letter thanking them for sharing their spouse’s time and praising their contribution to the team.  
    * The most important thing we do, is we work diligently to stamp out gossip at all cost.  This creates a safe and trustworthy environment.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is an incredible list, Eric. I especially like your “personal note in every paycheck.”

    • http://www.strategicplanningforgrowth.co.uk/ Jane Bromley

      Wow. What lovely, practical examples of how you appreciate your people- especially 2 and 3. . Truly inspiring. Thank you Eric. 

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Jane, thank you your comment.  Everyone loves validation, and I appreciate yours.  

    • annepeterson

      I would guess your morale is very high. People who work for you feel valued, am I right?

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Anne,

        We do have high morale.  Our year staff are extremely loyal to the organization and to each other…in and out of “work”.  I think that’s the most fun part of it all…the out of work loyalty.  My assistant director got married this past weekend….the past staff at the wedding out numbered everyone else combined. 

        Our seasonal staff retention and return rate is way above the national average in our industry as well.  

        Our team feel’s valued, because they know they are valued.  Without them, i’d just be a guy in the woods with some cabins and bunk beds outnumbered by 100 plus kids who would go all “Lord of the Flies ” on me.  

        • annepeterson

          I really liked this post, Michael. I love how you explained why people who are not part of the big picture look like it. Look like they are just going through the motions.
          For anyone I lead, I think encouragement is foremost. It opens the door. Of course, I’m not a leader of many. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Uh, can I work for you?! :)

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        We are currently looking for a director of development, lol.  Thanks Michele, that’s a very nice compliment.  

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Eric, writing those letters to your staff and their families is such a valuable thing you’re doing. Notes of appreciation and praise go further than most of us like to admit.

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Thank you.  I love doing this.  About a year ago, a pretty amazing thing happened.  I sent flowers to the wife of our CFI (Chief Fix It) Guy.  (aka, head of maintenance).  He came into work the next day and requested some one on one time.  He sat in my office and shared with tears in his eyes that his wife had just been diagnosed with Leukemia the morning I had sent the flowers.  He said we would never understand how much getting those flowers meant to her and him.  They knew that even with news like that, that we had their backs.  He was so thankful, and we both gave God the credit for the timing. BTW, she’s in full remission.  

    • prophetsandpopstars

      Thanks for the list, Eric. You are leading the way in encouraging and building an effective, productive environment.

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Thanks.  I appreciate the encouragement.  

    • Jim Martin

      Eric, these are great!  I really like your idea toward building an encouraging environment.  I am saving these.

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Please save, share and use.  I learned most of them others myself.  

    • http://twitter.com/MarkBHenry Mark B. Henry

      Eric, That’s great. I especially like that you send letters to their children, bragging on them. Every child wants to think that their parent is the best, and every parent wants their child to see them in that light. What a great gift!

    • Rachael Slorach

       What a wonderful working environment.
      Now that’s reflecting Jesus to the people around you….. Well done!!

    • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

      Catching up on Michael’s blog over Thanksgiving…and was really glad to come across this.  What I took away was looking specific things to thank my team for, and getting that feedback to them.   I am guessing I don’t do this as much as I should…convicting!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Be transparent. Let people see my failures upfront. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Transparency, yes. I also think how we respond to failure can be even more inspiring than an absence of failure. If I refuse to be derailed by a failure but move forward with positivity and determination, I give my team permission (and inspiration) to do the same.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        You’re so right Michele. 

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    The more I speak to companies the more I realize most leaders want to do these things but they are not sure how to START doing them.  Especially number 3.

    The first step takes humility.  That is to ask for forgiveness and admit your own mistakes as a leader.  A group going in the wrong direction will often stop and listen when they’ve never listened before, if the leader show’s humility.

    I wrote about this recently: http://andersonleadershipsolutions.com/leaders-get-out-of-the-way/

    1.  Apologize Immediately
    2.  Surrender Control
    3.  Encourage Mistakes

    Great reminder here Michael.  Thanks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good stuff, Dave. Thanks!

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    I like to pass along some I’m engaged. That’s way I’m not just say… Hey! Here’s what YOU should be doing…

    Example… I sent this to my team and posted to FB this morning…

    Before getting a donut I am doing a thanksgiving workout… maybe you want to join me…  Read Psalm 100  100 pushups  100 sit ups or crunches  100 squats  List 100 nouns you are thankful for

    Blessings,
    P

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Love that, Paul!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great idea, Paul. Love your upbeat attitude!

  • http://elisafreschi.blogspot.com/ elisa freschi

    I am not completely sure I understand what you mean with n. 3 (Resist creating new policies). How could a policy be born out of a mistake?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      In my experience, most policies are born out of mistakes. For example, someone spills coffee in their office, so we create a policy that you can only drink coffee in the company cafeteria. Or, someone uses a corporate credit card to make a personal purchase, so we eliminate the credit cards or impose penalties on everyone rather than just deal with the offending party.
      Does that help? I am not saying all policies are bad. I am just saying that they have a negative impact when they multiply, and we need to be thoughtful before we impose new ones.

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        I’m starting to think a list of questions to ask before implementing a new policy could be helpful.   

        1.  What’s the real reason I created this policy? 
        2.  Is this policy required for the organization to run smoothly in my absence?
        3.  Will this matter in 10 years? 5 years? 1 year?
        4.  Does this policy undermine my trust in my team?

        I wonder what other questions might be useful as a filter for new policies, or even to review current policies.  I feel a blog post growing within me on this topic.  

        What questions would others recommend?  

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          These are fabulous questions!

        • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

          Excellent questions to ask Eric!  I find question #3 to be to me the one of the most vital when implementing something new.  What will the future look like if this is put in place.  Thanks for inspiring my thoughts.  

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    I’m on the board of a non-profit, and over the past several years, I’ve come to realize that most boards don’t know what their role is. These 4 things are a fantastic summary of what a board does (especially the first three). My go-to for inspiring those I lead is to tell stories, ones that encourage us to keep moving forward, and remind us why we keep showing up to put skin in the game.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Stories are powerful tools.

  • JeremiahZeiset

    Since our team is spread across the United States, and our staff works from their homes, the challenge of actively inspiring has to come from a different angle. Here are several things we do:

    1. I send out a weekly email in which I point out highlights, either individual or team accomplishments, mentioning names and exactly what makes the highlight special (and duplicatable)

    2. In the same email, we include notes from our authors and readers. We’re involved in some excellent ministries, and some notes we receive are tear-jerking. Sharing these small comments have an amazing impact on our team – its a great reminder of why they do what they do.

    3. Our team’s input on Standard Operating Procedures is actively solicited. They are helping build our company’s methods of operation, which is just as big a blessing to the company as it is to the employees.

    4. In essence, we must remember that our team the reason we can do what we do, and as long as we remember that fact, our perspective towards each individual is amazingly different.

    Great post, really enjoyed it.

    Jeremiah Zeiset

    LIFE SENTENCE Publishing.

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    I’m running a debate tournament in nine days. The great skills the kids learn are second-to-none, but the teachers and parents tend to get themselves into a ho-hum slump. Not at my tournament! I get to give some speeches to judges, teachers and competitors, and I’ll be sure to apply your direction.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       … and use SCORRE, no doubt. ;)

      • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

        You betchya. =)

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Maintaining the positive attitude, connecting people to a story, and reminding people why they matter are all things I try to do.  People everywhere want to understand purpose.  People everywhere get discouraged.  People relate to stories.  When you help meet those needs you really unlock a lot of potential.  Great reminder Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/ClaraRoseChat Clara Rose

    So well said Michael, if everyone would ask themselves ‘what can I do today to make a difference in my world’… what a better world it would be.

    We all can decide how we act and react in our work, you can make someones day brighter with a simple smile and kind word.

    Keep up the good work Michael.

    (I am looking forward to your teleseminar on the 29th)

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    What an excellent reminder of what is needed to keep people excited about an organization’s purposes.  Not difficult to execute, but so powerful when lived out.

    I especially like number 3.  Too many companies start to flail about when they fix with a sledge hammer what is best dealt with using a pair of tweezers.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great analogy, Thad.  I’m afraid I’ve been under that sledge hammer before and I might have even swung it a time or two.  :)

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieAlmony Connie Almony

    Number 3 is genius! I know in the past my tendency to want
    to set a new rule based on a mistake came from my unwillingness to deal
    directly with a person. Rather than have the uncomfortable conversation, I
    might want to send out a “proclamation” for all. However, as you said, it only
    leads to more complication and less real involvement with individuals. I also
    think there is a tendency to create rules for problems that came from not
    enforcing current rules in the first place. In that case, what makes us think
    the new rule will be enforced? I worked for a bureaucracy that kept creating
    checklists for the staff to make sure they were doing their job. Can you guess
    what happened after they created several checklists? They needed a checklist to
    make sure they were doing the checklists. This is no joke!!!

    Number 2 is my other favorite on your list. A basic rule in
    encouraging people is showing the end-product of their work. Nothing motivates
    more than that. Jobs without visible end-products are often high-burnout jobs.
    If the leader can point to the employee’s contribution, they will feel valued
    by the leader and important in the work.

    Great list!

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Connie, this is also my tendency in parenting – to make a new rule. I guess you could apply all 4 of these to parenting :)

      • Jim Martin

        Aaron, I’m glad you mentioned this.  You are so right!  I remember a couple of times when I did this thinking I was solving a problem when in fact, I was only helping to create a bigger mess.

      • http://twitter.com/ConnieAlmony Connie Almony

        Aaron, I agree. In fact, I think lots of things mentioned on this site could apply to parenting.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Mine goes along with your point 2. I like to get people involved in new projects that bring out their skill sets. 

    This helps motivate them by changing up old routines and giving them something new to strive for. It also reinforces their value and shows them they and their skills are valued. 

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jason Marshall

    Thanks for the reminders! Came in very timely.

    I love the DMV (MVC) connection. Paints a great picture
    of what we don’t want to become. I’ll definitely use that 
    in our morning gatherings at church.

    Keep it up Michael!

    Jason

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Yeah, Jason.  You do NOT want first impressions at your church to be the same as they are at the DMV.  :)

  • http://www.cjfritsch.com/ CJ Fritsch

    I try to create a sense of purpose behind the work that my team does.  A lot of us work in environments where it is difficult for people to get passionate about the products or services their companies produce…we all don’t get to work for Apple.  Such is the case for my team.  So I try to find common ground with each individual member of my team and pry out something they can become passionate about in their daily work load.  I always use the infamous Chik-Fil-A analogy…walk into a Chik-Fil-A and then walk into another fast food restaurant.  You will notice an extreme differences between the two companies almost immediately.  Chik-Fil-A has a team member base that is passionate about serving the customer….and they’re selling chicken.  If they can get passionate about being the best at the chicken sandwich…you can get passionate and inspired about what you do.

    Bottom line, I keep a sense of purpose behind the work my team does to keep them actively engaged and inspired.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       CJ, this  is great! So, what does it look like to, “pry out something they can become passionate about in their daily work load.” I’m looking for some pointers :)

      • http://www.cjfritsch.com/ CJ Fritsch

        Aaron, I try to find out what interests them on a personal level, or what their strengths are.  For example, I have one guy on my team who is passionate about helping people.  Since his job function is more of an internal role I can’t utilize his passion to serve the customer.  So I helped him focus that passion on serving the internal customer, or his fellow team mates.  As a result he has become very passionate about developing and implementing new processes to help the organization become more efficient, thereby making it easier for his team mates to do their jobs.

        Others aren’t so easy.  Our current owner (my boss) who purchased the company from his boss years ago is far from passionate about the industry we serve and he was having trouble staying engaged and inspired.  In our conversations I was able to determine the reason he bought the company was to ensure that everyone kept their jobs.  He realized that if he purchased the company, he would ensure that people’s livelihoods would be secured.  This is his passion…making sure people keep their jobs.  I suggested that he use this passion as a tool to serve his management team to ensure they are empowered to successfully grow the company.

        These are very vague examples, but I hope you get the idea of how I “pry out” something people can get passionate about.  I have found that there is usually one, maybe a few things or strengths that people can get behind and get passionate about.  The trick is finding out what that is and how to help the person exploit it within their jobs to spark a passion that will help them become excellent at what they are doing.  I plan on writing a blog post on this topic that will provide more detail in the very near future.

        • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

          CJ…way to lead up.  Helping to coach your boss.  Seriously impressive.  That’s living in your vision and not your circumstances right there.

        • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

           CJ, this isn’t vague at all! It’s great. How you go about it reminds me of the questions I’m asking as I write and craft my characters: “What motivates this person?” and “What’s underneath that?”, “What conflict do they have to overcome to get to their goal?” Thanks for taking the time to write out those examples – really helpful stuff.

  • http://www.faughnfamily.com/ Adam Faughn

    Love the combination of #1 and #4. It reminds us that we need to be able to see the past (the big picture) and the future (expectations). If we do not have both in our mind, we will not lead people the way we would like the organization to go, and people will be confused.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I have found that one of the best ways to inspire team members is to be sure they buy into the vision. When they buy into the vision, the hardships and the successes are stories to inspire.

    • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

      I agree.  I love it when a team owns the vision.  They can push the organization forward faster than the leader can alone.  Too often leaders think they lead organizations….we don’t…we lead people.  People push organizations.  Great point in buying into vision.

  • Pingback: 4 Ways to Keep Inspiration Alive |()

  • Myfrenchheart

    Thanks for this. Brief and outstanding. Esp agree with the groan-inducing ‘more policies’ for one-off situations.

    • Jim Martin

      I suspect many of us have seen this.  So often those who prepare such policies do so, thinking they are solving a problem when in fact, they may be contributing to an even larger problem.

  • http://carmenpeone.tateauthor.com/ Carmen Peone

    It is amazing what a smile and a kind word will do. To many times we are so self involved, we forget other exist. So it’s time to quit feeling sorry for ourselves and look to others. How can we inspire them? With a smile and a kind word. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Encouragement is definitely a difference maker!

  • Alan Risener

    Excellent post, but some of the comments were just outstanding.  Picked up some ideas I would have never dreamed of. 

    Eric, you are a wealth of wonderful information.Thanks to all of you!  

    • Jim Martin

      Alan, one of the things I really like about Michael’s blog are the comments.  Like you, I often pick up ideas and insights from the readers who comment here.

    • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

      Alan, keep dreaming.  Glad I could help, and thankful for Michael for having this amazing Platform for all of us to learn together and grow together.  

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

     Dan, I work in higher ed as well. A couple weeks back an administrator explained to me that policy is often the last tool in his arsenal because it tends to be too inflexible and authoritarian. However, sometimes people do want a policy on things so that the expectations are clear.

    I think the frequent change thing is almost wholly negative. After a while, people start thinking, “I’ll just ignore this because it’s likely to get changed anyway.”

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s definitely the problem with too much policy.  Of course, no policy in a large organization would be a problem too.

      It’s certainly a tension to manage.

  • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

    Good point, Jason.  The same rules apply whether you are freelancing or part of the hierarchy of the organization.

  • Kirsten

    Because God has been allowing my company/ministry to start impacting people globally, I wanted my staff to see that too and to see themselves as part of that global vision. At our first staff meeting of this current dance season in August, I bought a huge world map and put a dot over Central PA (where we are located). Then I drew lines connecting us to the countries and cities where God was allowing us to reach. After that I handed each staff member a card with her name on it and had her write three big dreams that she had for her life/Reverence Studios, and then tape it to the map. I reference it with them in their one on one’s and then bring it out at the staff meetings. It’s been very inspiring for everyone thus far, and given us some great goals to work on together! :)

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      What a great way to demonstrate the impact that individuals and the team are making together!!

    • Jim Martin

      Kirsten, this is impressive!  This sounds like such a great way to inspire and encourage!

  • http://twitter.com/sherrylwriter sherrylwriter

    The organisation I work for has totally fallen into No. 3 – make more policies and rules and regulations rather than simplify things.  Seeing those in charge in a panic and responding to funding cuts with badly-thought-out responses does no one’s morale any good.
    Thanks for this post – I have forwarded it to colleagues.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Andy Andrew’s title “The Noticer” highlights something that makes a profound difference in me and others. When someone notices something positive and tells you, the compliment energizes you.

    I just got off a blog radio interview and the interviewer did a marvelous job of “noticing.” After I read a portion of my novel, she made a glowing comment about the dialogue.

    Would I promote CK and her website WebbWeaver ( http://weaver-zelda555.blogspot.com/ )?

    I just did. ;-)

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    Good to Great by Jim Collins is a perfect read. Is still shocks me that so many companies still view the people that work there as order takers. It is much more than that. If they are inspired, encouraged to dream and given opportunities, companies such as Google will be born.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkBHenry Mark B. Henry

    Great post Michael, REALLY enjoy your blog, I look to it for inspiration and energy. God Bless.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Mark. I appreciate that.

  • http://www.toddstocker.com/ Todd Stocker

    Thanks Michael! Of all your suggestions I love “Connect People to the Larger Story!”  Because our tendency is to get so myopic on life, it give us so much peace to understand that life isn’t about you but how you fit in with God and others.  Thanks again! 

  • Rachael Slorach

    I could not agree more. Thank you!
    My attitude has always been to set the example for my staff and to regularly praise and encourage them.
    I have come from a working background that bought me down and undervalued me.
    The environments that I worked in were not team environments and were usually about stepping on someone else to get to the top.
    I didn’t like being treated like that and so decided that I would never treat anyone else that way.
    My rule of thumb is how would I like to be treated and what makes me feel worthy, capable and part of a team.

  • Dean

    Michael
    I get it and enjoyed this post as I do most of your posts. My “room for improvement” as a leader is being able to do what I know I need to do.
    Seems like most days there is always more to do than I have time. I work an average of 12 hours 6 days a week and often still end up in the office on Sundays as well. How do you keep purposeful in your “presence” to actually execute?

  • Michelle Vogel

    Having worked in many offices, it starts with the one who answers the phone to make the recipient feel special. This is especially important working in the healthcare field. When a patient, caregiver, or healthcare provider calls, emails, etc they need to know that their problem is of upmost importance and we will work together to find a solution. There is always a solution for every problem and the word NO should be removed from our vocabulary.

  • http://www.borntwolead.com/ TJ Trent

    Michael,

    in the Army we have a saying “Lead from the front”.  It simply means set the example.  From personal experience I can say your teams members will reflect your behaviors.  If you treat someone bad soon they will as well.

    I have experienced each point you made personally (as a leader and individual).  

    Your article was spot on!

    Thank You!

  • Suzi McAlpine

    Fantastic blog post, thanks Michael. I agree it is vital that we, as leaders, keep people focused on the big picture, and to remind individuals how and why they are integral to the success of the organisation as a whole. Thanks for sharing. Suzi McAlpine, McAlpine Coaching – mcalpinecoaching.co.nz

  • http://twitter.com/joshlovesjen Josh Armstrong

    Wonderful reminder and post. Thank you for writing it.  Inspired as usual.

  • Pingback: Leading Posts for the week of 11/19 | Leading Everyday()

  • Jane Bromley

    Hi Michael. I love this post too! Your 4 points ring so true- create a vision that inspires, show others why they are essential to creating that vision, live the vision today (authenticity is catching) and be careful not to undermine the momentum you create. 

    Can I please build on it with a story? 

    Our research into the world’s most successful companies shows that they are incredibly good at inspiring their people in this way. There are many superb stories of how they do that. For instance, a company called Slingshot SEO. They did not just do Search engine optimisation (SEO)- their story was about helping to make deserving companies wonderfully successful. The inspiration that resulted galvanised them into working out exactly how to do that. Needless to say, their customers were so overjoyed that they told others to use them. Business skyrocketed- at 800% a year over the past few years. 

    All we have seen in these companies has convinced me that your no. 1. “connecting people to the larger story” is THE most powerful thing you can do for a business. Yet to do it in a way that gains total commitment and inspiration from your people, that drives fast business growth year after year, means it cannot be just any old story. As you say, it will make it clear how it will make a difference in the world. It will also harness the genius that is within us all- in a way that captures our passion and the areas where we excel. It needs to be so vivid and real that the leaders of the business can literally step into it. 

  • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

    It is so easy to fall into the routine of just doing things. As a creative person, I often have long periods of just doing the work and then I have moments of inspiration when I seem to really “grab ahold of life” and live on another plane.

    But they come and go? In your opinion can we manipulate or control how and when inspiration comes?

    ThanksGeoff
    Seven Sentences

  • Pingback: Three Ways To Inspire Others « Rise & Shine Mentoring()

  • Pingback: Como Aumentar a Inspiração da Sua Equipe | Carina Pilar()