EP34 – Influence and Inspire my Mind

Influence and Inspire my Mind

In a world currently obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we tend to overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. Its history of being treated as supernatural or divine hasn’t helped the situation.

There’s a common belief that there are three fundamental ways to get people to do things: You can coerce them, you can motivate them or you can inspire them.

In the past, businesses have used carrots and sticks to get performance OUT of people.  Today, it’s all about having people who have achieved a particular goal or aim to act as sources of inspiration.

Carrots and sticks are necessary and always will be; however, 21st century leaders also recognize their limits and disadvantages.

Coercion requires an ongoing investment in a bureaucracy of rules, processes and enforcement.  Motivation is expensive, particularly in a down market where money does not flow as freely, dollar-based performance targets are more difficult to achieve and bonuses are more difficult to pay out.  Plus, motivation cannot be shared and rarely connects individuals to a higher sense of purpose.

We have entered an era of inspiration, where we will see great results from employees who are invested in not just the company’s potential for success but also the company’s underlying mission.  Employees do not work just for the pay but also for their ability to achieve something they find inspiring.

Inspirational leadership is also a lot more efficient.

As an example take Nelson Mandela. After 27 years in prison Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 and negotiated the end of apartheid in South Africa bringing peace to a racially divided country and leading the fight for human rights around the world. This sparked various revolutions and protests alike worldwide regarding the freedom of oppressed people.

Another example would be Arnold Schwarzenegger. He rose to fame as the world’s top bodybuilder, launching a career that would make him a giant Hollywood star. After years of blockbuster movie roles, Schwarzenegger went into politics, becoming governor of California in 2003.

Following this a central culture rose worldwide for getting fit and having the body of a god/goddess. On a more fundamental aspect it has sparked people to live longer and have healthier lifestyles.

A very prominent source of inspiration is also Oprah Winfrey. Considered a hero and source of motivation and inspiration by many.  She is a woman who came from an abusive childhood and has become an influential television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. When Oprah wants to make a change, she stands up for what she believes in. Oprah Winfrey is a source of inspiration to me personally because she is selfless and dedicated.

People’s values are at the root of Inspiration.  Values are efficient:  a handful help us navigate infinite situations better than any rule book.  They are timeless:  giving us strength to be consistent even though the pressures of life tell us to be situational.  They are enduring:  inspiring us to be principled however inconvenient, unpopular or dangerous that might be.  Values elevate us to act beyond what we can do, to embrace what we should do.

Whereas coercion and motivation happens to you, inspiration happens in you.

A great way to get started to feel inspired by those around you could be to start reading the biographies of the greats worldwide.

Good starting point

Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) Civil Rights leader

Abraham Lincoln(1809 – 1865) American President during civil war, helped end slavery

Nelson Mandela(1918 – 2013) Anti-apartheid leader, first President of democratic South Africa in 1994



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EP34 - Influence and Inspire my Mind

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