“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” – Steve Jobs
It’s your first or fiftieth opportunity to be the team leader at work. You’re pleased to be in charge and immediately begin to think about what you need from your team to accomplish the task or objective. At this moment, you have the opportunity to utilize your skill of inspiration as a way to motivate and energize the team toward a common goal.
Inspiration is an exciting and energizing human sensation. To be an inspiration to others—to mentally motivate others to feel or do something—requires you be visibly and emotionally engaged with what you are doing; the task at hand. Sometimes that can feel scary. What if other people think I am not serious or professional enough? What if I don’t get buy-in? In fact, leadership through inspiration demonstrates great confidence and a high level of courage and commitment to getting things done and getting them done well. And if you are truly inspired—if you really believe in your vision—it will come across as genuine and heartfelt.
Inspiration is a powerful thing. It generates energy for you and the team to find better solutions and to deliver greater results. It opens doors to possible options that might not be visible unless everyone on the team is inspired to think creatively and outside the box. And it can be fun for you and everyone involved. Most importantly, you are teaching by example the power of inspiration, and in doing that, you build the pipeline of future leaders by showing them how to channel positive energy into getting things done. Learn how to sow your next leadership opportunity directly from the seeds of inspiration!
- Consider what inspires you. Look at your current job and/or the new jobs you are exploring, and specifically identify what is inspiring about them. Determine how you can allocate more time to those particular parts of the job.
- Share what inspires you. Let the people you work with and the people in your networks know what inspires you. Talk about it; share your passion. Watch how new opportunities get cultivated because of what you’ve shared.
- Encourage others to become inspired. Real leadership is about providing opportunities for everyone to stretch and do amazing things because of your inspiration, and subsequently, their own inspiration as well. Be visible with your passion and inspiration, and give your team opportunities to connect with your excitement. They will perform better for you, and learn to parlay it into their own creative vision—because inspiration is contagious!