Solution Saturday: How to Inspire

Today is the first Saturday of an experiment I’m calling “Solution Saturday.”

Julie asks, “How do you truly inspire people?”

everyone has a fire inside

17 ways to truly inspire.

  1. Realize true inspiration is internal. People inspire themselves.
  2. Truly care for people. Let them know you’re on their team and have their best interests at heart. Are you energized by selfish leaders who only think about themselves?
  3. Stop dis-inspiring people. Punishment, coercion, shame, and guilt don’t inspire.
  4. Understand their values. People are inspired by things they love, not things you love.
  5. Watch for bright eyes. Everyone has a fire inside. When you see it, fuel it. Channel it. Don’t quench it. It’s surprising how easily a leader can quench someone’s flame.
  6. Celebrate and evaluate small steps forward. Progress inspires.
  7. Explore how people can do their job THEIR way. Control dis-inspires. Give control, don’t take it.
  8. Create shared accountability. What are we doing for each other? How will we know? What questions will we ask the next time we meet?
  9. Develop people’s talent. Help people get where they want to go by helping them get better.
  10. Provide new opportunities.
  11. Treat people like individuals. Some prefer public acknowledgement, others prefer a personal word.
  12. Show lots of gratitude. Don’t just praise results, praise the work that produced results.
  13. Eliminate ambiguity. Create clarity about results, timelines, and responsibilities.
  14. Stay available but don’t meddle.
  15. Have high standards. Mediocrity never inspires.
  16. Focus on purpose more than tasks. What is the noble goal?
  17. Follow your own passion.

Bonus: Just ask how to inspire. Ask people how you can fuel their fire. Do it. Ask what you do to de-motivate them. Stop it.

How would you answer Julie’s question, “How do you truly inspire people?”

Next Friday I’ll ask you to leave questions on the Leadership Coffee Shop. We’ll discuss them here on Saturdays.