Posts Tagged inspiration
My blog has been silent for a few weeks now. The reason is partially due to life but mainly because I have not felt inspired to write. Not that there aren’t thousands of thoughts yet to share about leadership, teamwork and personal interactions, but nothing felt right to write (pun intended). Amazingly enough, my lack of inspiration now became my topic! Call it writer’s block or being uninspired, when ideas are not flowing, I feel it is almost impossible to force good content. For me, when I write, it is like I am speaking the words in my head while I am typing. I type as fast as my thoughts are flowing which makes writing fun and the words easy to find. When my head is empty, my fingers are not able to move. Personally, I think it is obvious even in the way I write between topics I am inspired to write about and others that I am trying to just get down on paper.
The difference between inspiration and discouragement comes down to motivation. When I am inspired about a topic or a life event, I am motivated to work. My mind and my body are energized towards greatness as ideas and effort flow forth in a way that feels exciting and fun instead of like a drudge. When I am not encouraged or enthusiastic about my topics or about my life events, the weight of my ambivalence slows down my entire psyche. I don’t WANT to think or to move! So let’s think about this when it comes to leadership because this is a huge deal.
Just like it is obvious to me in the results of my work when I want to write and when I am going through the motions, the outcome for groups is no different. The harder task for leaders is to find the motivating factor for the team to drive them to greatness. Unfortunately, we are all made different so this sounds a lot easier than it is. Although, there is one core truth that I choose to believe, that people do strive for greatness. Call it optimism, but when we are at work or charged with a task in life, I choose to think that individually we want to good a job. It is a sign of our capabilities and our talents to demonstrate what we can accomplish. In turn, when we have a chance to use our skills, we are energized. I think for leaders, identifying those particular talents and skills of each team member to contribute to the goal overall is the key to keeping people motivated and therefore inspired.
The Professional Development Team
As I recover from knee surgery, I’ve been paying attention to inspiration: finding my own to get through some tough physical therapy sessions. In the last week, there have been various references, especially through Facebook, from friends and family to inspirational stories or actions. I started thinking about what inspires people and why it inspires. Inspiration, along with motivation, is a large driving force behind leadership and goal accomplishment. As leaders, we look to inspire others, but what does that mean? The definition of the word “inspiration” from dictionary.com is an inspiring or animating action or influence.
I believe that the animating action or influence is what we strive for as leaders. Leaders work through actions, behaviors, talents or words, to provide an example that motivates others toward a desired goal. The truth is we cannot force others to do things they choose not to do. Every single action people make is a choice; the objective is for people to make good choices! As leaders, we need our teams to choose to do their individual parts to support the entire group. That is what inspiration does – provides us with the internal strength to make choices.
Inspiration is a very personal thing. What inspires me may not inspire others. In my case, I am inspired by a former college classmate of mine who has been on the brink of death more than once and keeps fighting back. I am inspired by my husband who endured a brain tumor with subsequent surgery; he has worked hard to overcome his challenges in amazing ways. I am also inspired by my children, who have faith, trust, and innocence in the world around them – I want to see the world through their eyes. My inspirations provide mental strength for me to work harder in my own life. It is that mental strength, an individual internal spark, which leaders look to tap into when inspiring their teams.
CEO, The Professional Development Team