Actors do it. Great sportsmen and women do it. Great thinkers do it too. Even great business people do it. But how? How do they inspire us, make us believe in things bigger than we are, make us believe that we can achieve things we never thought we would even try.
Inspiration isn’t just a post on a Pinterest board. Merriam Webster defines inspiration as “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone”. The ability to move someone’s thoughts or emotions is powerful stuff indeed. Who hasn’t looked to a Richard Branson, Warren Buffet or Nelson Mandela and marvelled at their ability to light a fire in those around them. To get companies, population groups, or even nations to bind together and push towards their goals or their vision.
What we know about inspiration is that those who tend to inspire us have common characteristics, and a set of common behavioural patterns. We unpack some of those during our 90 minute short format training called AVO Bytes, but thought we would share some of them here for you.
One of the primary commonalities with people that inspire us, is their encouragement of those around them. They tend to surround themselves with knowledgeable, credible people, and then they encourage them to explore new things, take ownership of new projects and play in uncharted waters. Richard Branson is famously quoted as saying that you hire the best people you can find and then get out of their way. When people are encouraged to try new things, without fear, it can lead to an explosion of new thinking.
We can hardly respect an opinion from those who don’t know their way around a subject. Inspirational leaders tend to be those who are experts in their fields. They have explored, or found guides to show them the way. They have consulted and read widely so can have an informed opinion on a subject. Sure they may not be masters in the field, but they have an enthusiasm for the subject that can only come from research and knowledge. We are sure you have heard (or even said) more than once “if only I knew what they knew”. Knowledge is out there, it just has to be taken!
Muhammed Ali said “I hated every minute of training but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’”. Inspiring people are committed to their goals. They will do everything in their power to achieve them, they will cajole and push not only themselves but those around them in the pursuit their aim. Inspiring people don’t just sit down when it gets hard. They put in the hours and find a way.
You’ve heard it said, repeatedly, that you should lead by example, and there is a reason. We have yet to meet an inspiring leader who isn’t willing to put in the hours, learn the subject matter, or give her team the freedom they need to excel. They also take responsibility when things go badly (or well). Leading by example, whether it’s in relation to work ethic, commitment, or getting involved is a vital characteristic of all inspiring people. You can hardly expect your team to want to work 18 hours a day to achieve a vision if you clock out at 5pm.
These are just a few tips to whet your appetite and begin you on your journey to inspiring those around you. Join us for an Avo Byte to learn more!